Muscat (Oman). The first time I saw the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat it was during the day: the mosque was packed of tourists, and it was a little bit too overcrowded (I’m not complaining; it’s normal, being one of the main landmarks in the Sultanate’s capital). However, I remember that I remained all the day with the curiosity of seeing it “far from the madding crowd” (it’s a quotation, do not take me too seriously). The opportunity came when I explained my “curiosity” to the hotel’s concierge: he kindly invited me to follow him to the hotel’s private terrace – not a rooftop with bars or clubs… just a terrace with air conditioning pumps, water tanks, solar panels and other facilities – and he gave me the possibility of capturing this image. When I saw the mosque all illuminated, with darkness all around, in the calm of the Omani night, I was really amazed by the perfection of its lines and by the sense of mysticism that it was able to transmit – although still I was quite far from it. It was December 30th, late night: the year was almost over and it was, for me, an early new year’s eve celebration…
Nizwa (Oman). Known as “The Pearl of Islam”, Nizwa served as capital of Oman in the sixth and seventh centuries AD. Today, Nizwa is one of most welcoming destinations for those travelling around Oman, thanks also to its magnificent fort, fine souks and the goat market.
Muscat (Oman) The sumptuous dome of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.
Muscat (Oman). The clean architecture of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, empathized by a pure winter sunset.
Muscat (Oman). Landscape of Muscat, with the castle and the Al Alarm Royal Palace.
Muscat (Oman). I captured this photograph when I was driving around Oman with a friend. It was late afternoon and we were along a beach not far from Muscat. People were preparing their boats for the night out, and I noticed this nice fisherman’s family. The man is repairing the nets, I guessed he will leave his children in few hours to take the sea and capture some fish to sell at the local market. All together they share this nice convivial moment, it was nice photographing them.
Asylah (Oman). I was lost somewhere around the East Cost of Oman, driving with a friend through a very poor village. Few people were around, most of theme were children playing in the streets. From the way we were observed, we got the feeling it was not a “typical” touristic place. At a certain moment, we stopped the car to u-turn and leave that place; and immediately, a group of 4 little girls ran to our car. The first one was probably the most “daring”, as she wanted to introduce her shy friend to us. I captured this photograph in that exact moment, and it opened a window of thoughts into my mind…
We live in a socially networked world, made of virtual friendship, tags and likes: are we sure we are still keeping the real sense of friendship? That moment, for me, was so intense and special that from time to time I like to ask myself the meaning of friendship. The pure and ingenuous smile of this young girl, while she tries to involve her friend, always brings me back to reality. For this reason I consider this photograph – not technically perfect – one of my favorite shots ever.