Framing Transformation

Framing transformation: chronicling Al Madinah’s past, and the impact of modern development through photography

Hosted by the Global Ties ABQ in partnership with the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, 516 ARTS, and King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (IT

Saudi chronicler, photographer, and explorer Moath Alofi will guide us through the transformation of his hometown of Al Madinah, and the impact of modernization on the cultural landscape, at two events in Santa Fe.

Saudi chronicler, photographer, and explorer Moath Alofi will guide us through the transformation of his hometown of Al Madinah, and the impact of modernization on the cultural landscape, at two events in Santa Fe.

HRA), Alofi is in Albuquerque to tell a story through his photographs in his exhibit “The Old City of Al Madinah: A Photographer’s Studio and Open Museum.”  On 1 December, Alofi will be our tour guide as we uncover the rich heritage of Al Madinah and consider the impact of modern development as it reshapes culture and society. The gallery and conversation with the artist will occur on:


Although systematic destruction of Saudi Arabia is under way, not all have acquiesced. When demolition signs and numbers appeared on the walls and doors of approximately 12,500 housing units, native son Moath Alofi was on the front lines documenting the changes to his home—the holy city of Al Madinah. His photographs chronicle the transformation Alofi is witnessing in his hometown, and explores its effects on the cultural landscape.


Born in Al Madinah, Moath Alofi has built on his professional background in environmental design to become a noted photographer, chronicler of urban change and supporter of the arts.  He holds a BA in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development from Bond University, Australia, and works as an Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Coordinator and Safety Specialist at Dar Al-Hijra. Since 2013, he has undertaken a photographic journey entitled ‘Doors of Barlik’ to explore the fast-expanding holy city by documenting its cultural heritage, hidden treasures, and social and urban transformation. His photography has been featured in many publications, including Der Spiegel and The Arab Review, and exhibited in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman. Alofi is the founder of Al Mathba, an interdisciplinary studio based in Al Madinah that promotes and supports regional artists and researchers. Alofi also co-founded Erth Team, an ecotourism-style agency which specializes in exploration trips using aerial photography.


Alofi will also appear at the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors and Santa Fe University of Art and Design on 30 November and 2 December in Santa Fe, NM.




The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (ITHRA), is a one-of-a-kind institution that brings together multiple offerings under one roof. From arts and culture to science and innovation, this bold initiative of Saudi Aramco promises a continuous journey of enrichment designed to energize the next knowledge economy of Saudi Arabia. ITHRA aims to make a positive and tangible impact on the cultural scene by focusing on building local talents in creative industries. Blending iconic architectural design with advanced technology, and unique learning methods with enriching programs, ITHRA is an infinitely inspiring platform for explorers, learners, creators, and leaders – a thriving hub of knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement. As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia strives to achieve its ambitious national development goals to transition to a knowledge-based economy, ITHRA acts as a bridge connecting cultures and cultivating a creative and innovative community. For more information, visit:




Each year Global Ties ABQ brings more than 200 emerging leaders from around the world to Albuquerque to meet with their counterparts in: business, education, government, NGO leadership, conservation, healthcare, governance, multicultural societies and much more. They connect international emerging leaders, the Albuquerque community and their members to one another through citizen diplomacy and international exchange. Global Ties ABQ primarily conducts and administers U.S. government sponsored professional exchanges and provides the Albuquerque community local educational programs and international-community building activities. For more information, visit:


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