Fatima Muhammad
Saudi Gazette

WHEN a faithful gets a glimpse of the two holy mosques he/she revels in their magnificence and is thankful to God for His benevolence in letting him make a spiritual journey.

But it takes a spirited person who marvels at the two holy sites and captures their architectural wonder along with their spirit of that time for posterity.

Suzan Iskandar used her lens, not the brush or pen, to do the talking. For this was her personal way of expressing herself and the spiritual essence of the two holy mosques..

She focused her lens on the two holy mosques over a period of time for a series of pictures that today has found place in an exhibition.


Iskandar, who with this exhibition is continuing to impress the digital art scene, has shared some of her favorite photos of the two holy mosques in different eras at the exhibition.

The art exhibition with 80 photos narrates the life of the two holy mosques. The exhibition, at the Ramadanna Kida festival in the historic area of Jeddah, has received positive reaction from the public and officials.

It has also sparked an interaction between people who have seen the work of art. The story of Suzan Iskandar exhibition starts at the Makkah gate, and then tours Makkah and Madinah and the different holy sites to highlight the life of pilgrims on their special days.

Suzan said, “She started taking photos for this exhibition from 2003. The photos have been taken from air in cooperation with the Royal Saudi Air Force and the General Security.

“Only 5% of the photos of the holy sites have been taken from ground. The photos feature the expansions of the two holy mosques and compare the old holy cities to the latest development.

“The exhibition also highlights portraits of the varied emotion and feelings of pilgrims who arrive to these locations.”

Among the distinguished photos is one of a Portuguese photographer, who took a panoramic photo of Makkah, the holy mosque, the houses and the souqs.

The photo dates back 150 years. Other photos include ones depicting life in and around the two holy mosques back in the seventies, which Iskandar borrowed from a Turkish photographer.

A special piece at the location is a photo of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, which if approached and seen from the two sides would show the two holy mosques.
“The concept of this photo is to let people approach the holy mosques at the exhibition, which resembles the actual pilgrimage trip,” said Iskandar.

Iskandar noted that she still believes in the significance of the exhibition as it narrates the life of the holy sites and introduces the actual teachings of Islam in pictures. “Peace and forgiveness, this is the message that I want to convey trough this exhibition,” added Iskandar. The exhibition has been held previously in the UAE, Qatar and Morocco.