Labaik Allahuma Labaik: In a first, worshipers will be taken on a visual tour of Islam’s holy sites

JEDDAH: For the first time, people will be taken on a visual journey to the holy places of Islam through a collection of photographs.

Arab News reported that contemporary artists Adel Al-Qurashi and Moath Al-Ofi will showcase their work at the exhibition in Medina.

Al-Ofi’s “Nabawi” exhibition is part of a larger project represented by his picture book of the same title. In his book, the artist brings together his modern artistic practices and his passion for discovery, research and documentation through a collection of photographs that show the richness of the Prophet’s Mosque reflected in the expressive faces of visitors.

“Nabawi is an exhibition supported and supervised by Prince Faisal bin Salman, the governor of Medina, and he is its first supporter; he is my godfather and he was the one who supported me with the book,” Al-Ofi told Arab News.

He said the book focused on the silent stories of visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque, not the architecture.

“It’s more about the visitors and their spiritual journey,” he said.

Al-Ofi presents a collection of artistic works which form part of the contents of the book. Through this collection, he allows residents and visitors to Makkah to explore the aesthetics of experience and look at it from an artistic perspective that complements the religious one.

The launch of “Nabawi” was long overdue, with Al-Ofi working on the project for many years with an inspiring team of photographers and designers.

“The exhibit is very special to me because the whole story of the book and the journey to make this book was and still is an emotional journey that went through a lot of hardships,” he said.

“In this trip, we lost a friend in one of the trips with the designer, and we had an accident and lost Madani Sindi who is part of the execution of this book, he was my assistant photographer in the project” , added.

He said seeing the exhibition come to life in Medina and after the publication of the book is like “a physical monument”.

“To see it on a larger scale in front of me and also allow those who worked on the book to celebrate it at a very spiritual time in Ramadan in a very spiritual place; Medina, my hometown,” Al-Ofi said.

Al-Qurashi’s solo exhibition “Al-Astar” also represents a larger project: a picture book that is currently in print and bears the same title.

The collection explores how photography can be an easily accessible and adaptable medium that conveys complex emotions, especially cultural and spiritual. Al-Qurashi accompanied visitors on a four-year visual journey to Mecca, during which he held his camera and took a special collection of photos that documented the essence of the Kaaba and its orbit.

Al-Qurashi presents a collection of artistic works that document a new chapter of his travels, through which he explores the details of holy places. One of his first trips was documented in a book called “Al-Aghawat” (The Commanders), which includes photos of the Prophet’s Mosque.

Both exhibitions will be held in the main hall of the Madinah Art Center with the support of Prince Faisal.

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