SOAS University of London

Camille Zakharia, Al Bilad, 2008

Camille Zakharia travelled to Oman, a country which, unlike desert states elsewhere in the region, has for centuries benefited from water, both in the form of the ground water for agriculture, and the sea for fishing and boat-building. His mosaic of images charts a fictional water course from the mountains to the coast, from traditional villages to new urban areas. Camille traces the uses and influences of water: it supports life, it shapes society, it provides livelihoods, it gives pleasure, and it is an essential part of Muslim ritual. But today, the mechanisation of water management is changing the process of farming and the actual landscape– even the desert is now being encroached upon both by reclamation for cultivation and by urban development - as well as the planning, design and construction of the built environment.

Camille Zakharia was born in 1962 in Tripoli, Lebanon. He currently lives and works in Bahrain.