Travel Photographer Plans New Adventure

By Shahlaa Ahmed
Gulf Daily News, Manama, Bahrain

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Brief profile of Bahraini travel photographer Rasha Yousif who says one of her main objectives is to spread “the real image of Arab women” to the world.

Gulf Daily News, Manama, Bahrain

BAHRAINI travel photographer Rasha Yousif is leading an expedition to explore Vietnam’s agricultural beauty and rich heritage.

In the last six years alone, Ms Yousif has travelled to 50 different parts of the world including Japan, India, Zanzibar, Morocco, Vietnam, Djibouti, Maldives, Russia, Middle Eastern countries and Western Europe.

She has contributed to magazines like Brownbook, Alef, GOOD magazine and Gulf Life, and participated in a six-episode photography reality television program called I am NatGeo Photographer that was aired on National Geographic Abu Dhabi in 2014.

Ms Yousif describes her trip to Vietnam in October 2013 as one of her most memorable, and is currently planning to repeat the experience for travel and photography enthusiasts.

Initial plans include exploring stunning rice paddies, Hanoi’s magnificent colonial architecture and the country’s famous marriage markets in Sa Pa.

“I arranged a trip to India to attend the Holi festival, or the festival of colours, in March 2015 and everyone had so much fun,” Ms Yousif told the GDN.

“I had eight people accompanying me, most of whom were women.

“This year’s destination is Vietnam, a place where I had one of my most memorable trips.

“I am working on the trip plan now and I’ll do my best to make it to some of Vietnam’s popular events — including the marriage market as it is something that we are completely new to.”

Born and raised in Muharraq, the 35-year-old decided to pursue her passion for photography in 2010 by reading books and attending workshops.

Her first major project was a documentation of Muharraq in 2011, which led the way to further projects and participations in photography exhibitions.

“I am interested in documentary and travel photography focusing on culture and traditional way of living,” said Ms Yousif.

“Inspired by masters of street photography, I pursued this style to freeze passing moments in time and document places.

“I try to keep my photos alive through capturing moving objects or vibrant colors.

“I also publish multimedia stories combining still photographs with ambient audio.

“I really enjoy street photography mainly because it is a tool of documenting genuine human moments in their natural environments.
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“I love traveling and getting to learn about different cultures.

“Combining my passion for photography with travel is my ultimate aspiration.”

One of Ms Yousif’s main objectives is to spread “the real image of Arab women” to the world.

“I have had and I am still having a very interesting journey exploring the world and seeing how different cultures accept and tolerate Arab Muslim women,” she said.

“My whole experience aims at breaking stereotypes of seeing Arab women as oppressed by meeting and talking to random people from around the world.”

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