Photographer Bashar Alaeddin takes us through a personal journey of his Middle East, from Morocco’s waves to Dubai’s dunes all through his favourite Instagram photos.
It’s pretty cool to know that at least one Arab country has a surfing scene to speak of. I travelled to the city of Aghadir in March 2012 on a surfing trip and stayed for a week trying to ride the pacific waves, which I actually only managed to do a couple of times. These images don’t define Morocco but they define Aghadir for me. I shared a surf-camp villa with travellers from Argentina, Spain, UK and France and had nothing but waves from 8am till 5pm, the rest of the day we enjoyed great food, prepared by a personal chef, and chilled under the stars at night. An unforgettable experience.
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Being half-Lebanese, I have a natural draw to Lebanon and lived here for about eight years, partly while pursuing my studies at the American University of Beirut. I’ve always noticed people describing the capital as “the city of contrasts” or “there’s always conflicts” – among many other clichés widely used by the media. But rarely has anyone mentioned the love and romantic aspect of the city. Besides its great cuisine and nightlife, and very active political life, Beirut is a seriously romantic city, with the most beautiful sunsets every single day on the nationwide coastline, a place where you can’t help but fall in love, over and over again.
Jordan, to me, is like an open museum. There’s so much history and heritage in this country and it’s all so accessible. You don’t need special permits or month-long plans to visit. I recall taking out-of-town friends of mine through Wadi Rum, Aqaba, Petra, the Dead Sea and a day of sightseeing in Amman in only five days.
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Adventurous United Arab Emirates
Usually when I visit Dubai it’s for luxurious vacation purposes. Many come here for the metropolitan life, shopping, exquisite fine dining and nightlife. But sometimes, if you know where to go and have good company, all you need is a 4×4 and an adventurous attitude. There are many open deserts you can off-road into; I recommend the Dubai/Oman highway. I used to enjoy off-roading in Wadi Rum but Dubai is something else. Complete solitude and the open space put you in that nomadic mindset. Finish the day with a campfire grilling some burgers under the stars without a honk or city noise!
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