Curious what life is like in Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Egypt? Here are a few of my favorite Instagram accounts that capture beautiful photos of people, landscapes and culture in the Middle East.
I'll admit, the one area of the world my Instagram feed is lacking, is where I'm actually from, the Middle East. Having been brought up in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, it's no wonder that I rush off to somewhere new on the other side of the world when I get the chance to travel.
For many people, it's not really an area on their bucket list. It may be because it's more of a lesser known area, less tourist-friendly or more dangerous (at least as portrayed by the media) than other countries.
It's a shame because the Middle East has so much history, culture, art to offer tourists — and not to forget the delicious food and sweets! How could you resist?
I've heard so many people say that they've been to Dubai so they don't need to go to any of the neighbouring countries. It's a great place to visit (for an expensive holiday), there's plenty of things to do and they do have cultural tours to cater for the culture vultures. But when only 16.5% of its population are local Emiratis, how can it be a true insight into the Middle East's beautiful culture?
It's like going to Vegas and saying you don't need to visit the rest of the USA; both cities are tourism empires on steroids with a high concentration of five-star hotels.
So if you want to see what real Arabia looks like, check out these accounts...
Living in Amman, Jordan, Ahmad documents everyday life focusing on close-ups of people going about their day. For lovers of animals and street art from a Jordanian's point of view, this is a great account to follow.
Maria's Photo Clicks
Maria's photographs are absolutely stunning. She captures beautiful scenes of locals in their traditional wear along in great settings in Doha, Qatar. My favourite images are the dreamy desert photos featuring men and women in Arabian traditional wear. It's hard not to fall in love with a bit of sand and sky!
The Middle East isn't all desert and sand. Sayyed's feed shows him exploring the local markets (souqs) filled with sweets, fruit and seafood! Catch a glimpse of his home for some authentic Bahraini life shots.
Asmaa is a photojournalist who captures intimate moments in everyday Egyptian life. It's easy to get lost in her feed and you soon start to feel like you're on a private tour with her. Hopefully, once it gets safer there, this will be more of a possibility for tourists.
Saudi Arabia's plans for tourism are progressing slowly but unless you know someone who lives there, it's unlikely you'll be visiting anytime soon. Abdullah's account takes us through many scenes that only men are allowed access to, such as the mosque, so this is definitely one to follow.
Amera's gallery shows us another side of Saudi Arabia. She mainly photographs wildlife and landscape and here she shows us how the country is not true to the desert stereotype — who knew there were waterfalls and green mountains?
Do you have any recommendations? I'm always looking for interesting accounts that show different sides of culture. Send me your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org