Monday, 13 April 2009

Picture Perfect

I've taken over 10 000 photos in the last 4 years. I love Photography and even though I'm an amateur at best, I tend to see life in pictures. I haven’t taken it up professionally, not yet anyway and I don’t even have the adequate equipment to say that I’m on my way there. But I’d like to think that some day I’ll be a professional photographer…if only for my own amusement.

I often get a lot of flak from some people (well mainly from FC) who says that some of my photos look like Postcards, but I don’t care. I love taking pics…I could do it as a job. There’s no better way to capture a moment. Well, here are some of my favourites, along with little explanations of why they’re my favourites.

(Click on images for a better view)

Location: Mount Nebo, Jordan overlooking The Promised Land/Palestine (January 2006)
The exact spot where the Prophet Musa AS (Moses) stood some 5000 years ago, looking at the land that The Almighty had promised for him and his followers. Sadly, he never made it to the Promised Land, and lived on the mountain for 40 years before his death.

Location: Brighton, UK (May 2005)
This pic was taken with a disposable camera, on one of our girls days out, an expedition into the unknown...I remember a beach made of stones and the original fish and chips that was once the national dish of Britain before curry took over. It was an awesome day.

Location: Brugge, Belgium (December 2007)
A great place to step back into favourite because it was chocolate heaven. I spent a small fortune here.

Location: Cairo, Egypt (January 2006)
Taken from the White Mosque in Cairo. I had felt an inner peace that I have never known when I walked the marble grounds of this mosque. I'll never be able to describe it with words. It was beyond amazing. I've only ever felt that way on two occasions...the other being in the desolate hills of Jordan. I have never experienced such tranquility since.

Location: Gibraltar, (Southern Spain) (July 2005)
This place made me fall in love with the Mediterranean. Named Jebel Al-Tariq (Mountain of Tariq), after the Muslim conqueror and considered the southern most tip of Europe, one can only imagine what Islamic Spain was like. For me, this was even more captivating after having read Alhambra by Colin da Silva…and fictional story based on real events that occurred during the Spanish Inquisition.

Location: Gibraltar, overlooking Morocco (July 2005)
On any clear day, Morocco is visible in the distance from anywhere in Gibraltar, and ferries depart every Friday for the African country. Taken at sunset.

Location: Kilburn, London on route to Finchley Road (February 2005)
Another one taken with a disposable camera. One of my best friends, Jo. The four of us making an exciting journey out of it, on route to watch a movie at the O2 centre.

Location: Inhaca Island, off the coast of Mozambique (January 2009)
Thanks to my neighbour Zax, I got to personify the meaning of frolicking. He was excellent company on the ship...he brought 50% of the entertainment with him, without which we could have never done our routines on the dance floor, much to the delight of our fellow passengers.

Location: Mount Pilates, Switzerland (December 2007)
Spectacular beauty aside, it's hard to believe that Switzerland can be so peaceful. You'd think people would flock to marvel at such splendor. A dapper FC made it a trip to remember...if only there were more men like him in the world (ladies, he's single *wink wink*, I'll handle the applications).

Location: In the hills outside Sanaa, Yemen (January 2006)
This is the Kings Palace on the Rock and you have to be quite fit to climb all those stairs. But the view from above is worth it. Yemen in general was a very humbling and fascinating experience. The place also takes you back into time.

Location: Paris, France (December 2007)
Definitely one of my favourite cities, Paris exudes elegance and leisure. Theres just something about the place that makes me all dreamy eyed and nostalgic.

Location: On the road to The Promised Land (the real one), Palestine (January 2006)
I remember looking at the sky and seeing this, the sun smiling through the clouds. The smiling face was comforting, considering the fact that we were entering a volatile country where anything could happen. It was my sign that everything was going to be ok.

Location: Jerusalem, Palestine (January 2006)
The view from the hotel, at the old Jerusalem's city walls. The vibe in this place was amazing, surprisingly optimistic and there was no tension in the air despite all the armed Israeli soldiers stationed on every corner.

Location: Bethlehem, Palestine/Israel (January 2006)
What the outside world does not see. Photographs are not allowed at the entrance of the city, nor at either of the check points but I took the risk and captured a few. These walls have been up since 2000 and no resident born in this city since then has been allowed to leave. The barriers are massive, the check point guarded 24 hours a day, and the entrance closes at 5pm sharp. So if you happen to be there after this time, then sorry for you, you'll have to stay there until 8am the next morning. It's like a giant Prison actually.

Location: Jerusalem, Masjidul-Aqsa, Palestine (January 2006)
After getting horribly lost in the old city's walls after Fajr prayers, I returned to the Musjid and found this old man, a Palestinian gazing at a sight he gets to see everyday, yet still looks at with new appreciation. It was captivating.

Location: Parliament Hill, London (August 2005)
One of the best art exhibitions I've ever been to. A giant table and chair in the middle of nowhere. My girls and I had a picnic next to the river, not far from the display. One of the best picnics I've ever had, quality time with my girls.

Location: Petra, Jordan (January 2006)
This place was amazing, unbelieveable, breath-taking. To think that it was carved out of the rock all those thousands of years ago just made me marvel. My eyes could not comprehend the beauty in front of me.

Location: Central London (2004 - 2006)
A little duo I like to call Angels and Demons. The dichotomy so aptly describes modern day life in London.

Location: Damascus, Syria (January 2006)
I honestly can't remember the name of this mosque. However, Muslims believe that Isa AS (Jesus) will descend from the heavens, his arms resting on two angel's wings and that he will land on/in this minaret (tower) before he joins Imaam Mahdi for Isha prayers. He will descend from the heavens to kill Dajjal (the Anti-christ). This mosque is so beautiful, and so old too. Yahya AS (John the Baptist) is buried here and there are mosiac murals that are thousands of years old; depictions of what life was like when Damascus prospered. It's fascinating.

Location: Homs, Syria (January 2006)
This large medieval castle is called Crac des Chevaliers and was built almost a thousand years ago by the Romans as both a rest stop and a place of governance. There were continuous wars at the time, between the Romans and Salahaddin, the great Arab leader, whose army eventually captured Jerusalem in 1180 AD. The castle is deserted today, used as a tourist site and paints a magnificent portrait of real medieval life. The stones tell sad tales of battles fought and lives lost. Theres an eerie silence when you climb the steps to the roof on one of the narrow stairwells that lead to amazing views overlooking the mountains of Lebanon. The original table from the Knights of the round table is situated in the courtyard of the castle.

Location: Dubai, UAE (April 2006)
I touched this car. Actually, I couldnt get my hands off it. I would have licked it but there were too many witnesses. This was at the height of my Formula 1 addiction, such bliss at the time. I can remember thinking that Schumacher must have had one skinny ass to fit into that tiny seat. My interest has since wanned and these days I could care less. I still love Ferrari and this is always my motivation to test drive them on an Italian race day.

Location: Indian Ocean (January 2007)
How could I ever forget Antonio? He was one of the motivating factors behind the cult of Italian cruising. His grace and charm left us swoooning. Indeed Chivalry is not dead. If only there were more Antonio's in this world. The crazy whackjob with the hair standing next to him is me of does one resist?


  1. the petra pic is lovely :)

    i think i saw a pic of nooj there.

  2. whaooo now that is some photography :D
    thanks for the sharing girl. gives me giggles and tickles... just looking at the assortment@

  3. Amazing pics!! And now I want to go travelling right now!!!!! aahhh can't wait till I can go travelling again :)

  4. Beautiful captures, felt like we could've been standing right next to you.

  5. as irfaan says ( its disgusting that i cut a human being of such stature to a url), its all about the jam in life. spread, spread :)

  6. Petra looks beautiful

    I woke up this morning thinking of London coz of the dreary weather and your picture of EROS is making me feel like I want to be back there.

    Paris is also my favourite city. It holds many special memories for me. I discovered something new every single time I went there and I had the most awsome birthday party there.

  7. MJ - Petra was awesome...And the hills surrounding Petra are deathly quiet. Its like you can hear your soul there.

    AD - :)

    GSiddiqui - I'm right there with you...just looking at these again makes the Gypsy in me long to hit the road again.

    Saaleha - :) I lvoe travelling more than anything else in the world. Even more (dare I say it) than chocolate :D

    Mash - I feel like I haven't been to a fraction of the amount of places I'd like to visit. I also feel like I've wasted so much time...and money in the past. I just want to travel.

    Noojie - lol...I always say, you want to make me happy? Buy me a plane ticket. The entire Middle East was courtesy of my beautiful mother...a gift from her. I love her so.

    Edge - I guess we all have our London mornings hey? :) I miss it too.

  8. Awesome Pics...Just amazing!

  9. Princess - :D


    You will notice that most of the pics are taken at very historically rich places, thats because I love history so much. I'm fascinated, intrigued, captivated and in awe of History. I can't even explain why.

    So this love of histroy leads me to some historical places and then I stand there, recanting the events that happened there through the centuries and millenia...and I pay a silent tribute to the heros that have fought for better lives, so that we can live in the freedom we do today.

    Sometimes I just like to imagine the events, like I'm in a movie.

    I'm weird like that :)

  10. Well thats makes two of us two...I can read and go to places just because of the histroy and that I get to learn something new :)

  11. Beautiful pics sweetie :-)
    I envy you like crazy coz of all the wonderful places you have been.

  12. Princess - So I guess we're two weirdos then long as we're having fun hey.

    TCQ - Thanks. All you have to do is think it, then take tiny steps to make it happen, and the rest will fall into place. You'll see. It starts with a thought. I look forward to reading your travel stories :)

  13. Your pics are beautiful ;) I thought I subscribed to your new blog but somehow wasn't getting any posts. Now I am.

  14. Im having a "London morning" :-( so looking forward to going back inshaAllah.
    SubhanAllah these pics are stunning- youve captured the essence of each place so well; almost as if a part of Azra has left a mark and lingers in each of these places.