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Journey Into Ancient Arabia

by Mamade Kadreebux
My mentor and the leader of the caravan of my thoughts, who lives in Berkeley, but rules my heart.

The Arabian desert is permeated by the spirit and the lyric. The chasms of sandy void resonate with the sweet melodies of the shepherds and the silent, but emphatic presence of the passing caravans. The desert may appear empty, but this emptiness nourishes the souls with the greatest of all humanly qualities, namely hospitality. Gripped with nostalgia, Mamade’s photographs are decisive moments in our sharing of the ancient Arabian spiritual and lyrical dimensions.

Accompanied by Professor Abdullah, the photographer takes on a mission of seeing the desert, eye-to-eye, and realizes, in the process, that his future destiny can be changed forever, much like the sand dunes taking form from the crafty hands of the desert wind. The environs appear desolate, but only on the surface. The mirages embolden the traveler, to travel, to cherish hope. The limitless horizon expands his very own horizons. Finally, the oases perched like coral reefs in the waters of sand, lead the vagabond to serenity and bliss.

But Mamade wants us to go with him. He believes that in the modern society, charged with an acute sense of everydayness, materialism and pettiness, the desert has much to offer – an appreciation of the timelessness of time, the extent of the true human dimension with all its intrinsic qualities such as simplicity, giving and charity, vastness and audacity, unity and harmony and the cherishing of a great sense of wonder, one of the greatest phenomena on this earth deserves, the Arabian desert.

-Sabieh Anwar (UC Berkeley)

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