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Waves of Change: Memories of the 40 years journey of Qurum Beach


Hassan Ali Jawad’s lens has been capturing beauty from a very early age. At the age of 11, his first camera was gifted to him by his father when photography was just in its infancy. Hassan’s photographic eye catches what others may pass — beautiful, distinctive or mystifying images. Residing in Qurum over the past 40 years, he witnessed countless changes on the Beach Road. Through this exhibition, Hassan decided to share his collection throughout the road’s story reminiscing its beauty, changes and development with everyone else to demonstrate his love for preservation and environmental awareness.

“Waves of change”, the current exhibition at Soul and Art Gallery was the production of spontaneous images captured by the photographer during the past 40 years. Having no previous intention at that time to hold this exhibition with this theme, Hassan said, “I enjoy going to the beach as a daily routine. Living close to Qurum Beach made me notice all the changes taking place over the course of time.”

Qurum Beach Road, the heart of Qurum, a popular destination also known as the Love Road, is a tranquil escape to a golden band of a sandy beach. The stretch of clear waters of the Sea of Oman neighbours, the natural Mangrove Lagoons with its serene landscapes. Qurum Beach stretches for four kilometres along the Muscat coastline, and has become a busy destination for locals and tourists.

“It was overwhelming at that time when the government built the bridge connecting the two sides of the beach. A very simple detail that someone would go without noticing made a change to us. That was the first attempt of carrying people across to the beach via a man-made bridge lasted for several years. Yet, the first storm brought the entire structure down, leaving behind rubble and ruins”, he shared.

The country was sticken by Gonu in 2007, a category 4 cyclone of strong winds and rainfall caused flash floods and severely collapsed the infrastructure travelling from the Arabian Sea into the Sea of Oman.

“As other parts of the country, the Qurum Beach was awfully impacted. It took sometime after this to bring back the life to the area”, he noted.

The other sad incident that thwarted Hassan was the removal of Ghaf trees from the beach in 2015 — a miserable step replacing the Ghaf that stood there for 250 years with a car park.

“It was lamentable to shift the home of a multitude of birds and other creatures and use it for a commercial side as a car park. Today, the Mangrove Reserve that embraces small trees and shrubs grown beside the coastline area, gives some artistic view. It is an unruffled and protected site that encompasses birdlife, sea, life and lush greenery”, he shared.

The exhibition lasts till March 25 at the Art and Soul Gallery in the waterfront Mall. It exhibits over 200 pictures featuring the changes in the Qurum Beach, underscoring the role of photography at highlighting some of the environmental issues and spreading awareness.

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