Mesmerising Photos Capturing the Act of Prayer
Meet Emirati photographer Ammar Al Attar
Sarah Ben Romdane
35-year-old photographer Ammar Al Attar started taking photos with his Nokia phone back in early 2000s. Al Attar soon became passionate about understanding and documenting social phenomena and has since taken his photography to a professional level. In 2015, he presented his series of self-portraits titled Salah investigating the act of prayer.
Eager to find out why the act of prayer in Islamic culture is divided into sequences, Al Attar researched the performance over two years. “We only inherit most of our religious habits from our parents or school, so I started doing extensive reading, which allowed me to look at it from a scientific, physiological and psychological lens”, he says. This then led him to produce his series of graphic self-portraits, each exploring every micro-movement of the ritual.
His research-based photography allows for him to document the evolution of behaviours in our contemporary world – and more particularly in the Gulf, where technology and globalization have transformed things at a very fast pace. “My aim is to act as a preserver of History, so future generations can understand it and make greater sense of their environment”.