I was having lunch with a friend and we were discussing how to shoot our next episode, my friend looked at me and said "are you free for three months to teach photography?" at first I thought he was messing around, then it seemed to me he had a serious enough look on his face, so I said "what's the deal?" , he looks at me with a smile saying "I'll get you in contact with a lady named Noha, she's in charge".
And that's how I got to know about this amazing opportunity, it took me a while to make my final decision, as a freelancer this meant stoping most of my ongoing projects and maybe cancel any new ones that will come along the way until the end of May and that could hurt my business. Everything about this felt right, not a single aspect was fuzzy or not interesting, it took me a week to decide and I had to leave my family, wife, and the life I am comfortable living and take on a long journey to teach kids about what I love to do day in and day out.
Our first distention was a northern city by the name of Hail, since I am originally from up north I had a clear idea of how the culture would be like or I thought I did, it was my first time in Hail, I was and still am shocked at the fact that Hail had almost every famous retail store and resturant we are used to in the eastern province, which was comforting to some extent.
I was assigned two tasks one was to be a Master Trainer for photography and the other sub task was to help with video and photo coverage of the entire event, at the beginning it felt like an easy task to take on until I actually started work, we had 8 to 10 hours of work daily, which to my benefit made me lose 2.1 kilos by the end of the trip.
The first week was ok because I only had to shoot video, but I was not ready to face what the second week had in store for me, two back to back hours of teaching almost 50 students each day for 6 days, I had taught photography courses before but to adults, in this case I had to learn to be a teacher, and that means learning how to control a class room filled with teenagers that won't stop talking or moving.
I never have been called the word "Teacher" more than 5 times in my life and now I was faced with 50 kids calling me that every other minute, it was humbling and a great reminder to why I joined in the first place, in this trip I came to appreciate photography more and I also came to realize that my mission in life may have changed forever, paying it forward is the most gratifying feeling in the world and teaching youngsters what I love is more satisfying than any photography award I will win or project that I will or have done in the past.
Hail's people made our stay that much more special, their generosity and hospitality is second to none and the weather and scenery was just the icing on the cake, our next journey takes us to Jeddah the land of the Red Sea, can't wait to see what awaits us there.
Ps. Special shout out to the "The Real Team" love you guys.