The Youth Hobbies Center opened a photo exhibition entitled “Environment in Oman”, this evening at the center’s headquarters at The Cultural Village Foundation – Katara, where beauty features of Oman environment were in display.

The exhibition, which would last for two weeks, includes 50 photos taken by Omani Artist, Haitham Al-Shanfari, showing environmental richness in the Sultanate of Oman as it appears in nature and wildlife. It demonstrates the environmental diversity of deserts, beaches and rare and migratory species of birds as well as those living there, including ibis, white stork, little owls, stilts, grey-headed kingfishers, ruppell’s weavers and spotted thick-knee birds.

In a statement after the opening, Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, general manager of Katara, said that the exhibition is full of all elements of artistic power, making it a special exhibition that transforms an important part of the rich and diverse Omani nature and environment to Katara’s visitors. Through his photos, artist, Haitham Al-Shanfari has managed to take visitors to Omani environment in all its details, whether in land, sea or animals and birds in wildlife. He praised the Youth Hobbies Center for its distinguished selection for art exhibitions.

Artist Haitham Al-Shanfari said in a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA) that the exhibition coincides with Omani Environment Day, which is celebrated in January and that is the reason he chose to show Oman environment. He added that the exhibition is divided into two sections; the first shows beauty in nature, which he captured through a drone plane, using a mobile phone to direct its camera, the second shows wildlife in Oman. He noted that this section has a collection of photos that he selected from his five-year old archive, which starts from his early days as a professional photographer. Mr. Al-shanfari also pointed out that professional photographers encounter difficulties as they try to capture special shots, which require a lot of patience to get desired results.

On his part, Mr. Abdulaziz Al Kubaisi, Manager of Photography Department at the Youth Hobbies Centre, said in a statement to QNA that the exhibition is a partnership between the Youth Hobbies Centre and the Photographic Society of Oman, and this is their second collaboration in two years. He added that the exhibition shows nature and wildlife in Oman, where the photographer used professional cameras along with drone planes to capture his shots. He noted that this is the first solo exhibition for a Oman artist at the Center, as the Center hosted a collective exhibition for a group of Omani artists before.

Mr. Al Kubaisi said in response to a question by QNA about the Center’s interest in participation in international photograph competitions, that since its establishment in 2015, the Center has international participation within its main objectives and committees were formed for this regard, including a committee for competitions. He added that the new plan for the Center has Qatari photographers who are affiliated with the Center participating in international competitions.

Regarding what is new at the photography department at Center, Mr. Al Kubaisi said that 2020 work plan is being finalized and it includes many art exhibitions, as well as the sports exhibition, which will be directly held after this exhibition in celebration of Qatar Sports Day next February, then a variety exhibition will be organized for beginning artists as an opportunity for them to show their work. He added that workshops and lectures have a special place within 2020 plan; February and March workshops will be held at Msheireb Museums in coordination of the administration of the place. He continued that there will 8 workshops, held in open air venues, which handle many themes; additionally, the Center will hold English and Arabic photography lectures by photographers from international imaging products companies such as Canon, Fuji and others.

Moreover, Mr. Al-Kubaisi has revealed that the center announced a special day for Qatari photography that will be on the first Saturday of March. This year, the Center will hold the event “Photo Forum 2020”, which aims at introducing the community to the significance of photos and encouraging the practice of photography in a more professional manner. Professional photographers from Qatar and abroad will participate in the forum, as it will include workshops and lectures throughout the day, as well as interactive and professional studios and others.