“My mother passed away, when I was 13. I was sleeping next to her, when I realized she was gone. After 9’th grade, I decided to be a truck driver. A few years later, a friend asked that I deliver some boxes from UAE to Saudi. On the border, I got arrested for participating in selling fake products. I was jailed for over a year, until the previous king passed away. I then started driving an SUV, and I remember I saw a group of hitchhikers on the highway from Riyadh. They said they’re going the same direction as I was, so I picked them up. Not more than 30 mins later, we were all arrested, and I was sentenced for another couple of years, for aiding a group of men without IDs. I was fined for both arrests, and don’t think I’ll have the money to renew my ID, let alone the exuberant amount...but alhamdolilah [thanks to god] I found work as a cellphone salesman. It’s my third week, so wish me luck.” The day after this interview, 28 yr old Guraan lost his job for keeping the store opened for an extra 20 mins. #riyadh#saudiarabia#youth#nytassignment "
I escaped the heat of the Kuwaiti sun to a random men’s barbershop. Somehow I managed to outvote the Kuwaiti gentleman sitting with a knife ready at his face - his traditional Kuwaiti mustache about to be shaved... My encouragement, though, was only met with a bottle of juice to bribe me into silence. #kuwait#nytassignment#moustache#arab#man#barber
A father teaches both sons to perfect the traditional thobe/dishdasha and ghotra. A thobe is a white ankle-length garment, with full sleeves. Depending on each country, the collar and sleeves design may change. Ghotra is a white or red rectangular fabric that covers the head. Men wear ghotras to protect themselves from the heat of the sun. Igal (or ugal) is a black band which is used to hold the ghotra in its place. #kuwait#thobe#traditional#attire
According to Islamic belief, the history of Mecca goes back to Abraham who built the Kaaba 'The black cube' with the help of his elder son Ishmael in around 2000 BCE. Initially, Islam considered Jerusalem as the direction 'qibla' to prayers, and Makkah only for pilgrimage as religious duty. In 624 CE the direction of the qiblah was changed from Jerusalem to the Kaaba in Mecca. Since then, Muslims are expected to face the Kaaba when performing prayer, and to circle the Kaaba seven times in a counter-clockwise direction when performing Hajj or Umrah. Photo taken minutes before Fajer 'dawn' prayer. 19.12.2016 #umrah#mecca#makkah#saudiarabia#islam#muslim
It was a sight common around the world. But in the capital of Saudi Arabia, it was a watershed moment: the first opening of a commercial movie theater in more than 30 years. “We are very happy,” said Fouz al-Thiyabi, 35, the vice principal of a girls’ elementary school, who came with a girlfriend. She said she and her friends used to go to the movies abroad, like many Saudis who would flock to neighboring Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates on weekends to see the latest flicks. Now, she said, she looked forward to seeing movies close to home. “I don’t know anything about the film; I came for the event,” she said. Story for @nytimes, words by Ben Hubbard https://nyti.ms/2J3ISEE #nytassignment#cinema#riyadh#saudiarabia#everydayeverywhere#everydaymiddleeast