From 18 to 30 January 2011 the Tashkent House of Photography ran a contest «You Are My Pride», which resulted in an exhibition under the same title. Among the participants, besides the contestants and renowned Uzbek photographers, were Mr. Ameen Ahmed Eid and other representatives of the Photographic Society of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and members of the Qatif Photography Group.
Ameen Ahmed Eid was born in 1980 in the Dhahran province of Saudi Arabia and earned a degree in mechanical engineering. He lives in the city of Qatif. He developed an interest in photography in 2001, took part in many international contests and exhibitions; he considers photography his second qualification, which he mastered by taking a course of design and digital processing at the Zabel Institute, the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP), courses of portrait and commercial photography and still life offered by the artist Muhammad Shabeeb and well-known photography artists
— An opportunity to capture the fleeting moment that in a second will already become the past. Besides, when travelling, you can keep in the «memory» of your camera those unrepeated natural landscapes and unique rituals of different nations — all those things that you will probably not be able to see anywhere else. For the first time my attention was drawn to this art form when I was introduced to the works of Abdullah bin Ali, a well-known photographer in our country. Inspired by his beautiful and soulful photographs, I started taking photos of urban and natural landscapes, and also produced some abstract pieces. Over time, I began to take part in different festivals and exhibitions. Today I cannot imagine my life without my favourite Nikon. I am a member of the Qatif Photography Group (Photographic Society of the city of Qatif). Our country has many societies and clubs, where a novice photographer can bring his pictures and hear an objective opinion. This is a good school that I went through, too.
— I came to Uzbekistan for the first time in 2006. Tashkent is the native town of my wife Khurshida. I wanted to see the land where she was born. At that time I couldn’t even imagine that this is such a beautiful, green land.
I like that fact that you have preserved the unique culture and that people respect customs and traditions. For me, the person from a modern city in Saudi Arabia, where we live in the world of technology, it was a revelation to see the real life with the elements of traditional culture.
I visited the cities of Namangan and Samarqand that captivated me with its magnificent architectural monuments. I liked your mountains and Tashkent — a beautiful city full of life, where people walk the streets, enjoy their leisure time and socialize. Things are very different for the urban residents of Saudi Arabia: we spend our life in cars and offices. — You participated in the «You Are My Pride» exhibition. What do you think about the skill level of the Tashkent photographers, and is there anyone you would like to mention specifically? — My participation in this exhibition was made possible by the Tashkent House of Photography. I gladly accepted the invitation to become more familiar with Uzbek photography and to see the works of your masters.
Works of Uzbek photographers are very diverse. They include images made with analogue technology. In my view, film conveys the reality more credibly and emotionally. By the way, nowadays people began to understand the difference between digit and film. Unfortunately, in our country almost nobody uses film anymore, although in many countries around the world photographers are coming back to it, which is perfectly justified.
Victor An’s works appealed to me very much. We spent more than six hours in his studio. Vladimir Zhirnov is also an excellent photographer. — Mr. Eid, would you tell us about the Qatif Photography Group?
— Our society was established in 1996 under the chairmanship of Mr. Ali Abu Abdullah. He gathered friends and co-thinkers and proposed to work together. By 2007 the group has evolved into a successful photographic society that operates officially and is supported by government and many business companies. We deliver lectures, organize training courses, create studios, arrange field trips and publishing magazines. We engage not only photographers, but also artists who enrich photography with artistic vision, as photography and painting bring something new to the art through this reciprocal enrichment. Currently, the QPG is chaired by Mr. Mohammed Kherari.
Qatif Photography Group, in cooperation with the Tashkent House of Photography, is planning to implement some interesting joint projects and exchange exhibitions. For example, women-photographers of the Qatif Photography Group were invited to take part in the exhibition titled «Women’s Life in Saudi Arabia as Seen by Women Photographers». The best photographs will be sent to the Tashkent House of Photography to be shown in Uzbekistan.
Between 25 and 28 of March, in Saudi Arabia the cities of Ar Riyadh and Jiddah will host the Days of Uzbek culture. The exhibition of Uzbek photographers is planned to be held in the QPG exhibition halls during that time. Eventually, we may organize master-classes to be delivered by Uzbek photographers whom we shall invite to Saudi Arabia. . I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan and the Tashkent House of Photography, the generators of ideas who are dedicated to and enthusiastic about their work. I hope that all our intended joint plans will materialize, and photographers of our two countries will meet more frequently to share experience.