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I received an email this week from a young Arab professional titled “Career Advice”. It was a very honest account of his struggles to feel fulfilled, realize his potential.. make sense of his career path.. he has a job he dislikes, he’s always told he’s not realizing his full potential.. he cannot even recall what he’s passionate about.
My response is what follows; if you have an opinion, please share…
In a recent conversation where a colleague made sweeping generalizations on what Arab women want, I
remembered a movie..”what women want” Mel Gibson takes us into the world of a PR agency that hires a women to unleash the secrets of marketing to women. I cannot speak for all women, what I can do is start my list and ask Arab women out there to contribute…
many more.. and waiting to be inspired others out there..please pass it on. ..
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.