“Carrying a weapon is less dangerous than a camera.” A Yemeni conveys the beauty of his country to the world

Abu Bakr Ahmed Belfaqih had not yet turned 10 when the spark of war broke out in Yemen in 2014, and he believed that what was happening in his country of violence, bloody chases and casualties were just fighting video games, as he did not.The young man realizes, at the time, that he was born in once the bombing and the noise of bombers that surrounded his childhood terrified. Abu Bakr’s generation in Yemen did not grow up with cartoons, but with news broadcasts, which are driven by the tragedies of the orphanage, loss and destruction. After 7 years, the young man decides to own an anti-violence weapon, it is a portable weapon, but it does not kill, but rather revives in the rubble, with the intention of using his skills in the world of photography to embody the suffering of his company through vibrant clips that illuminate the dark side that many don’t know about Yemen. He has created photo albums that include faces full of fatigue, contemplation and sadness. From the atmosphere of weddings and market squares, he immersed himself in the corridors of history, heritage and folklore, drawing a smile instead of a lump, planting a rose against the bullet, and lighting a candle in the darkness of crisis.

Furthermore, the young photographer Abu Bakr Balfaqih, from the Yemeni city of Mukalla, was able to change the bloody scene with the lens of a mobile phone, embodying a civil and human image that radiates the values ​​of beauty, pace it’s love in a massacred country that swallows the colors of humiliation and deprivation and burns with poverty, famine and humiliation. Abu Bakr Ahmed Balfaqih is a photographer from Hadhramaut Governorate, he started shooting with his mobile in 2017, capturing stories and photos from the memory of a war that burned hearts, and he still continues to share these photos on his Instagram page, which attracted thousands of followers. In addition, images disseminated by platforms of humanitarian organizations and agencies of media international, in what the conditions of the oppressed country and the dreams of its defenseless people express.

“Yemen is not a country of war”

Abu Bakr said during his interview with “Al Arabiya.net”that” the world does not know about Yemen except that it is a war country, and this is not true. Therefore, through my images, I try to say that Yemenis people still yearn for life no matter how difficult the circumstances and wars are. The siege walls, the successive strikes of poverty and the hammering of economic conditions, the country, exhausted by pain and calamities, still boasts of its creators and fine arts as the latest trump card in the battles of violence and fronts of terror and blood.

In the same context, Abu Bakr tells his story with photography, saying: “My talent for photography was born in the rubble of war, but I did not give up due to the siege and the narrowing of the ceiling of liberties. my ultimate goal was to convey my message through images in street, I aimed my lens at an optical object or a person. “Mo ‘in, I am stopped by anxious looks in the eyes of passers-by, and I find them looking at me with caution, and then curiously asking me the nature of the material I am filming, where it will be broadcast or published and the medium that will be used. He added: “In a war-torn country, I can’t get the simplest types of stable income, due to a lack of job opportunities and the difficulty of moving from one governorate to another.”

Abu Bakr, who completed his secondary education last year, continues to tell about his experience in photography, considering that it is a hobby for him, but it has transformed in a source of sustenance, and then it became a “human mission” through which it transmits “radiation of pace and messages of tolerance in time of war “, underlining that he is eager to hunt for images that convey hope and optimism and restore joy to the sad conscience of the Yemeni people.

Documenting historical monuments and landscapes

Abu Bakr has many images that tell stories of coexistence and pace, including an image of a man holding a weapon and roses hanging from the barrel of the weapon, as he enjoys watching traditional folk wedding dances. About this photo, Abu Bakr says: “I took this photo with my phone in Sana’a, in particularly the Bani Matar waterfalls district “, underlining that he is interested in” documenting historical monuments and beautiful landscapes of the Yemeni countryside, in harmony with heritage manifestations, people’s lives and the beat of the street. “

At the age of 18, Abu Bakr toured more than one city in Yemen, fearlessly, in light of the outbreak of violence and escalating conflicts. He is adventurous and takes risks at borders and checkpoints to hunt down a stimulating human shot. In this regard, he says: “I have visited the governorates of Sana’a, Aden, Shabwa, the districts of Hadramaut, Shibam, Sayun and Tarim, all of which I took many photos that put in I highlight the beauty of the heritage, the greatness of the story, the simplicity and kindness of the people despite the pain that afflicts their diaries “.

Abu Bakr tries to convey to the world images that embody the tragic situation in Yemen, but also continues to highlight the positive side of civilization and states: “I have many ideas, but due to lack of support and my weak abilities, Sometimes I am satisfied with the images I transmit via cell phone.” The young man does not hide his ambition to win an international award in the field of photography.

Carrying weapons in Yemen is less dangerous than a camera

According to Abu Bakr, the images closest to him are those that “reduce the spirit of Yemen and bring large doses of optimism and hope from the depths of pain”. He continues: “I’m trying to compose stories about Yemen to let the world know about its civilization, culture and nature of its people, including a photo I took of two children in the city of Mukalla, one of whom hits his friend while his friend hugs him. I have a library of images of the Hadrami heritage, folk dances and ancient folklore, as well as a series of photos of the ancient army of Hadrami Badia. “.

Abu Bakr does not put in discussion “the power of the image and its ability to silence the sound of guns and silence the hum of bullets”, considering that the influential image is one that addresses issues of pace and violence and transmits the suffering of people, without transgressing the values ​​of society and violating its customs, traditions, norms and ethics.

Abu Bakr added: “During my visit to the Yemeni governorates, I realized that carrying a weapon in some governorates is less dangerous than traveling with a camera, as it is allowed to carry a Kalashnikov anywhere, but the photographer raises question marks by carrying the camera, which could expose him to responsibility and arrest, as well as confiscation of his camera, because most part of the parties in conflict sees that the effect of the image is stronger than the effect of the weapon.

“Carrying a weapon is less dangerous than a camera.”  A Yemeni conveys the beauty of his country to the world

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