The book and exhibition Chalil Raad, Photographs 1891-1948 are the first in Israel and the world dedicated to the work of Chalil Raad. Raad, the first Arab photographer active in Palestine, and one of the most important of the Arab photographers who travelled and photographed in the Middle East, was born in 1869 in Lebanon, and sent as a child to the schoolof Bishop Gobat in Jerusalem. He studied photography with Garabed Krikorian, the first local Armenian photographer, and also studied in Basel. In 1891 he began to photograph independently, and four years later opened a photography studio in Jerusalem on Jaffa Road, outside the walls of the old city.
Raad’s importance in the history of local photography is significant. He photographed for more than six decades and produced an impressive and comprehensive body of work. The core of Raad’s work was dedicated to describing the rich life of the Palestinian community. He gave the Palestinians a presence and visibility rarely seen in foreign photographs of the country in the late 19th century.
And I had a wonderful escort too!