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The image, an enormous color shot of two young boys pressed up against a fence on a hill overlooking the Islamic holy city of Mecca – a sea of minarets lit up like candles in the night – was part of an exhibition originally dreamt up by FotoFest.A smaller version of the show, conceived by the nonprofit organization based in Houston, Texas, is on show at Abu Dhabi's Emirates Palace as part of the annual Abu Dhabi Festival. The Abu Dhabi version of "View from Inside" features a diverse selection of work by 38 artists. The show opens with a moving series of photographs by Kuwait-based Palestinian artist Tarek Al Ghoussein.Next to them hang a series of black-and-white shots by Lebanese photographer Samer Mohdad. The photographs are taken from the series "My Arabs," (1994 to 2003), for which Mohdad traveled to 12 different countries in an attempt to capture the region's diversity, commonalities and contradictions. The striking photographs are part of series called "Desert of Pharan," which aims to show Mecca not as a timeless symbol, a site of pilgrimage, but as a living, evolving city with typical urban problems.Reem Al Faisal, a member of the Saudi royal family, provides a third perspective in black-and-white shots from her series "Hajj," which capture thousands upon thousands of white-clad pilgrims praying and perambulating around the Kaaba.
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