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Photographer Sara Sami has placed Saudi Arabia under the spotlight in her first solo exhibition in a bid to showcase her passion for travel and adventure, as well as to inspire other women to not let fear deter them from exploring the unknown.
Using a Sony A7iii camera, the 35-year-old is better known by her signature social media name ‘agirlfrombahrain’ on Instagram, featured 30 photographs documenting her road trips in the Across the Causeway exhibition at Al A’ali Shopping Complex’s Last Oil Well Art Space.
“The theme is about my road trips to Saudi Arabia and showcasing my love for discovering its beautiful nature through my photography,” said the freelance graphic designer and photographer from Riffa.
“My hope is to also help shed the stigma around women travellers in Saudi. If done right, then there is nothing to fear about travelling in this country.
“Do your research, take your precautions and don’t forget your love of adventure. I want to show girls that road trips are not as scary as some people make them out to be.
“We have been given a beautiful planet to discover and preserve. Also, while driving through Saudi, some days in the middle of absolutely nowhere, I was able to meet some of the friendliest people.”
Sara went on seven road trips to the neighbouring country, of which three of them were to Jebel Fihrayn known as ‘The Edge of the World’. It is one of Saudi’s most popular tourist destinations and was given its nickname due to the uninterrupted view of the horizon that it offers atop its 300-metre-high cliffs, which overlooks the surrounding plain.
“Located 90km outside of Riyadh, the place is perfect for a camping trip and a quick escape from the bustling city life,” said Sara who started focusing on travel photography during her university days and turned it into more than just a hobby.
She also travelled to Ein Heet Cave, which is a natural cave located 30km southeast of Riyadh city and she made trips to Abha and Al Ahsa among a few other destinations, capturing the natural wonders.
“Saudi’s trips also helped me discover my love of the night and astrophotography which is mostly what I focus on now,” added the graphic design graduate from University College of Bahrain, who is also a former GDN reporter.
“What inspires me though is my hunger for adventure and living life to its fullest. I love being one with nature, learning about new cultures, exploring new cities and interacting with inspirational human beings.”
Sara, who started a travel business before the pandemic hit and is now organising outdoor hiking events in Bahrain @crossbahrain, has set herself a new goal that will take her to even greater heights, pun intended.
“My next goal is to climb Mount Everest’s base camp in March and capture its marvellous beauty,” said Sara. “So for the next three months I’ll be focusing on getting in shape as it can take a physical toll if you don’t properly prepare.”
The exhibition runs until Saturday (January 15).