122Photographers from around the world to take part in inaugural Beirut Image Festival September 4th – October 5th, 2019

Under the patronage of His Excellency Prime Minister Saad al Hariri and in collaboration with Beirut Municipality, Zakira – The Image Festival Association will be launching the inaugural Beirut Image Festival on Wednesday the 4th of September 2019 at 6 PM with two outdoor exhibitions: (Lebanon 1919) at the Roman Baths in Downtown Beirut and “Beirut” by the Lebanese photographer Nabil Ismail at Beirut Souks.
The Festival’s public exhibition will open at the on September 5th, 2019 at 4 PMunder the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Daoud, Minister of Culture, at the National Library in Sanayeh.  This will be followed by the opening of the photojournalism exhibition in the Laila al Solh Hamadeh Exhibition Hall at 6 PM under the patronage of His Excellency Jamal Jarrah, Minister of Information.
On Saturday, September 7th, 2019 at 5 PM, under the patronage of Beirut Mayor, Mr. Jamal Itani the exhibition of Lebanese photographer Marwan Naamani, “The Fishermen of Ras Beirut” will be opened on the Ain el-Mreisse corniche.
On Monday, September 9th, 2019 at 6 PM, His Excellency the Governor of Beirut Judge Ziad Shbeeb will be opening an exhibition honoring two pioneering Arab female photographers: Karima Abboud possibly the first Arab female professional photographer from Palestine, and Mary el-Khazen the first Lebanese female photographer. The exhibition will be held at Beit Beirut in Sodeco. Two other simultaneous exhibitions will be showcasing the works of Adib Shaaban Al Ani and Ali Bin Thaleth on the theme of “The Desert and Water”, as well as the exhibition “Conceptual Portraits” showcasing the works of Ayman Loutfi.
A series of other exhibitions will follow over the following few days in 22 various exhibition halls and public open-air spaces in several areas of Beirut as well as in other regions of Lebanon including Tripoli, Saida, Baalbeck, Tyr, and Hammana.
The various exhibitions will reflect the diversity found in the world of photography today, varying from honoring pioneers who have contributed to the establishment of professional Arab photography, to world photos highlighting our rich cultural diversity, to photojournalism and documentary photography, to conceptual works, to thematic exhibitions tackling issues of humanity and the environment through art.
Zakira – The Image Festival Association in collaboration with The Federation of Arab Photographers and Dar al-Mussawir (Lebanon) are honored to be launching this inaugural edition of the Beirut Image Festival as the first such festival of its kind in the Arab world, bringing together 122 photographers from across 25 countries.
Beirut Image Festival aims to underpin the culture of the photograph and to showcase the talents of both established and new photographers, providing a space for cultural dialogue and interaction.
The Festival is an affirmation and reclamation of the historical role of Beirut as the meeting point of Arab and international culture in all its differences and diversity. It is an affirmation of the role of the photograph in the building and development of society and in affecting change, especially in the era of the internet and social media where every citizen is a photojournalist.
In this first edition of the Beirut Image Festival (2019) we were inundated with 3,884 submissions from 678 photographer of 36 different nationalities across 41 countries. Submissions varied from single photographs to photo essays. From those, 600 photographs were handpicked for participation by the specialized selection committee.
The number of submissions for this year’s Festival far exceeded expectations, and so we have begun planning for next year’s Festival (2020) which will be held under the heading: “Memory”. We call on photographers of all ages and experiences to submit their entries under the broad themes of cultural, individual, and collective memory, as a welcoming space established on the principles of acceptance of the other and respect for diversity.