Skip navigation

Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed holy month and easy fasting.

مبارك عليكم الشهر و عساكم من عواده

This post was originally planned for the 2nd of August but – since I hadn’t yet taken the photos and I was out of the country – I had to be home before I could write it. Around this time last year, I saw my ‘collection’ from 1990/91 and I decided then that I would post it this year: the twentieth anniversary of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

I was just under sixteen years old when I collected these documents.  We were living in London at the time, my father was doing his research at a London University.  I still remember the day of the invasion.  I woke up hearing the news on the TV, and it was too early in the morning for TV to be on in the first place.   It was the weather and I wondered what was going on…  when my father told me that Kuwait was ‘gone!’ and that ‘we’re praying for her return’.  I didn’t understand how a place could go… Where to? How?

Read More »

Zorro is a silver java finch who was born in Kuwait January this year.  You may remember my post about the zebra finches. Well, this little boy also comes from my brother-in-law.  He kindly looked after him in the critical first couple of weeks – after the egg hatched; something only an experienced breeder should attempt.  I picked him up one evening in February, and he’s been at our house ever since.  When we first got him he was one colour.  I explained to the kids that he would soon develop his permenant colour, which would include a ‘mask’ near his eyes.  We were thinking of names at this point, and my wife came up with Zorro… The perfect name!  No-one argued.

Read More »

I bought a smaller camera for those work trips when I head straight from the airport to a meeting.  I don’t like the ‘tourist’ look that a big camera would convey.  I’m also very often visiting the same cities: Dubai, Doha, Paris, Sens, London, Muscat, Khobar and Jeddah.  During most trips, I only get an hour or so of photography time, which is mostly during bright daylight and outdoors; perfect conditions and very manageable with a small camera.  The Nikon is therefore now reserved for proper holidays, and for business trips to off-the-beaten-track locations.

Read More »

This has to be one of the most fun activities for a family: on horseback through the woods.  The weather was beautiful and so was the place.  The people (and animals) at the Riding Centre were very welcoming, which made the afternoon even more pleasant.  They managed to fit us in on a busy day , which was just as well since I had already promised the kids.

Read More »

Lines are not always clearly defined between work and life.  I’m a great believer in mixing the two to a certain degree – but not all the time.  Photography allows me to do this when I’m traveling for work.  On my current business trip, I’m visiting customers in west Wales; the first time I’m this far west on the British Isles.

Read More »

Over the past three years, I’ve visited Sens about eight times.  Most of my trips were in winter, which meant it was dark when I left the office in the evening. Other towns have had a better share of my photography time, and I want to change this over my next few visits.

Read More »

It’s more flying and less visiting, at least for this week.  I’m tired of Dubai Airport. This is not in any way a criticism, far from it in fact.  I’m just bored of it.  For this trip to France, I chose my old friend British Airways so I stopped at Heathrow – a refreshing change. Our local park is visible in the above photo, the green space behind the five tall buildings.  It was funny being so close to my family and unable to meet them.  I will, God willing, see them on Friday.

Read More »

Two men, two meals, and two pastas – hence the silly title.  A few days ago, while shopping for football snacks with one of my brothers, we came across some fantastic king prawns.  We were sick of takeaways and decided to have a home-cooked meal for a change.  We added some fresh pasta to the basket and headed to the check-out.  I picked up some mince meat and penne for the following day.

Read More »

This has been sitting in my notebook for almost a year.  Soon after my short experiment with lightwriting,  I watched an episode of Scott Wittenburg’s photography podcast and the subject was ‘physiograms’.  It was the first time I ever heard the term, and as soon as I looked it up on flickr, I was captivated.

Read More »

I took this photo last year when we spent the day at an animal park just outside London.  I posted this, and a few other images, on the National Geographic website soon after.  Earlier this week, I received an email from them asking me to add it to their stock website.  It’s a great feeling to get recognition from an organisation that I respect and admire – even if it’s only for one image.  It’s like a pat-on-the-back from a close relative.

I like National Geographic.  I don’t tend to watch much of their channel, but I love their magazine.  I even managed to subscribe electronically earlier this year – which has been fantastic. Recently I saw their advert for their back-issues from 1888 to 2008.  When I mentioned it to my dear father, he kindly offered it to me as a gift. We’ll be ordering it soon.

I know it’s summer when I look around and see an empty house.  It feels strange to have the place to myself.  The garden is not used – even on nice afternoons, there is nothing fresh in the fridge, books are untouched, toys are neatly stacked and the dining table has not seen plates for days.  My brothers have been staying with me occasionally, watching football and movies.

This photo, taken back in May, is what makes a house a home.  One’s loved-ones surrounding one with joy and laughter.  I am truly blessed and I thank God whenever I remember.

Most of the conversations with friends and family this time of the year revolve around travel.  My wife’s last day at work yesterday signals the start of the family’s summer holiday, which is mostly spent outside Kuwait.  I will, God willing, join them on two separate short trips – the first of which will be late July.

The images in this video are not new.  Readers of this blog will have already come across them.  I had some fun with the globe widget, and enjoyed trying to fit it all into 80 seconds.  It’s not perfect, but I like the end result.  The background singing is of traditional Kuwaiti sea songs – something I associate very strongly with travel.

Whatever you’re doing this summer, and wherever you’re spending it, I wish you all the best.

On my photography website, BuYousef.com, I don’t write anything to accompany the images.  I choose my favourites from here and post them into themed galleries. Until recently I converted all images to black-and-white, maintaining a very simple and minimalist look and feel.  I liked the simplicity – but colour had to come back. I’ve just finished the redesign of the page, where I removed all the galleries (all the images are visible without a need to search),  there are no distractions (with contact information and links on the top instead of on the side) and colour is everywhere via the square thumbnails.

The end result will be a portfolio of my favourite 100-or-so shots, without distractions nor text.  I even reduced the file sizes to speed up image loading.  I’m still adding/removing images and will hopefully find equilibrium some time next week.  After that it will be a case of new pushes out old…

Your comments and suggestions are, as always, appreciated and welcome.

Yousef was at a football-themed birthday party today.  His school’s last-day-party also has a football theme.  Football fever is everywhere I look.  Tonight is England’s first game.  I’ve supported England for as long as I remember and, in true fatherly fashion, I’m imposing this onto my children.

This is a great timetable which I came across on SomeContrast – please note the time difference means you add an hour to get Kuwait time.  Whoever you’re supporting, enjoy the World Cup!