Walking on the roads to take pictures is a great experience that turns you into a celebrity. First, people will assume that you’re a foreigner, especially if you have colored eyes and you’re wearing slippers. Second, you will be more recognized in the neighborhood as a photographer, so you can add that to your CV. Third, if you’re in a political/religious neighborhood, you will be faster in browsing the internet on your smart phone for “how to take photos secretly”.
The trick is that you have to act naturally. That can be challenging for some of you but that’s how you can take a picture without people staring at you. Like the picture above, act as if you’re trying to get service. This was the road to my success.
As we can see in the map above, 50% of the pictures that I took are concentrated in three main areas (1) Zkak- el- Blat, (2) Burj Abi Haidar, and (3) Basta Al- Tahta. These three neighborhoods are mainly conservative and politically affiliated. Before I went on to take pictures, I thought that most of the signages will be in the Arabic language and script. Surprisingly, there was a lot of English and a bit of French! I was thinking about the possible reasons for the use of these different languages but I realized that some foreigners actually visit these neighborhoods, especially Basta Al Tahta because there are a lot of great furniture shops.
What I also realized is that most of the signages are in the “Internet language” with a mix of Arabic language/script so that people can understand what’s written. I found this very interesting because we can actually know that the owners of these shops don’t want to target one specific audience.
After I uploaded my data on Fulcrum and synchronized it on Carto db, I was very happy because no other user targeted the areas that I picked. As you can see in the map, the blue dots reflect my data in comparison with all the other users which are represented in orange.
I can gladly say that the process was fun and educational!