I walked into the gallery to see Elie; instead, I saw a wall of writing.. Arabic & English.. I scanned the place, and remembered that Elie mentioned a new exhibition that will mark Eid El Adha. It had arrived!
Standing back, I read, Arabic text first, describing the exhibition; the photographs taken in 1885 by an orientalists, a Snouck Hurgronje, who converted to Islam to enter Mecca and document life in the historical city.
The exhibition was beautiful, to see photos from the 1800s of a Mecca brought tears to my eyes. I would never have recognized the city since I’ve only seen recent photos of it (1970s onwards). However, the real beauty was the curator’s insight into the artist, his journey to enter Mecca and document life in the historical city in a book “Mecca: a dangerous adventure”.
Elie has always taken the time to bring the most interesting, and emotional works of photographic art. His attention to the pieces is only matched by his attention to the story behind their production and the lives of the artists who brought the photos to life.
Recently I listened to Joi Ito present on happiness and the journey of work. He stressed that the only real successful entrepreneurs are those who take the time to inject their spirit, love and diligent pure work on a daily basis without worrying about the outcome. Those who care about the journey and find happiness in it define real success. Elie and his gallery are a reminder of doing one thing, and doing it right. Taking pride in depth, knowledge, research, taking the time to master an art form.
Seeing the amazing exhibitions that The Empty Quarter brings, and witnessing Elie’s journey to bring inspiring photography that speaks emotions I’m reminded of a quote I read in US museum.. ” If it makes you cry, if it makes you laugh, if it rips your heart out.. that’s a good picture” Eddie Adams – Pulitzer Prize winning photographer.