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Beyond Home

Project by Hussain Almosawi and Mariam Alarab.

Throughout history, people have either voluntarily or unwillingly emigrated. This movement of people has profound effects on human life and civilisation. Neither England nor Bahrain is immune from migration. Many Bahrainis have moved to England for different purposes - work, education, economic and political reasons.

Our journey took us from London to Birmingham, Oxford to Sussex, in order to meet a group of Bahraini immigrants who consider England to be their new homeland. We were eager to explore their stories and how they built their new lives in another country. We interviewed them and asked fundamental questions around the concept of “home”, not in the sense of geographical boundaries, but rather from their perspective on identity and belonging. We wanted to explore how they were contributing to the wider community whilst building their new home. Whether they face cross-cultural situations in their daily life. Have they reformed their identities to adapt to the new circumstances, or have they have resisted such changes, maintaining their original identities?

Beyond Home is a collaborative documentary project that utilises conversations about home, immigration and citizenship, oral narratives and archival materials in an attempt to portray the Bahraini immigrants as part of the contemporary history. This project is for those who fear immigration and immigrants.

We would like to give our special thanks to each and every participant who enriched this project by sharing his or her stories: Dr.Alaa Al-Yousuf, Ali Al-Durazi, Amal Khalaf, Dr.Fathi Tarada, Jenan Al-Hasabi, Noor Al-Abbas, Mohammed Sharaf.

This project has been commissioned by Ffotogallery on the occasion of the exhibition 'The Place I Call Home', curated by David Drake, for the British Council. The exhibition is touring the UK and the GCC.

Amal Khalaf
London, UK

Once more, but in a new and cold and penetrating light, I watched all the lives of stars and worlds, and of the galactic communities, and of myself, up to the moment wherein now I stood, confronted by the infinity that men call God, and conceive according to their human cravings.

I, too, now sought to capture the infinite spirit, the Star Maker, in an image spun by my own finite though cosmical nature. For now it seemed to me, it seemed, that I suddenly outgrew the three-dimensional vision proper to all creatures, and that I saw with physical sight the Star Maker.
I saw, though nowhere in cosmical space, the blazing source of the hypercosmical light, as though it were an overwhelmingly brilliant point, a star, a sun more powerful than all suns together.

It seemed to me that this effulgent star was the center of a four-dimensional sphere whose curved surface was the three-dimensional cosmos. This star of stars, this star that was indeed the Star Maker, was perceived by me, its cosmical creature, for one moment before its splendor seared my vision. And in that moment I knew that I had indeed seen the very source of all cosmical light and life and mind; and of how much else besides I had as yet no knowledge.
June 2006

Amal Khalaf
London, UK

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