I cover conflict, daily life and sports.
My initial experiences with photography were more on the artistic side, taking pictures of landscapes and portraits, but the shift into photojournalism was great and so much fun. I am always eager to include an artistic touch in my photojournalism, though. I find it important to include the beauty of the surroundings when taking a photo.
I started getting into photography when I was 21. I graduated as an architect and in 1996 I started working at a studio because of my love for photography. Through printing negatives and working with film I gained the experience I needed to start. I set aside an amount of money from my small salary until one day I bought a Canon AE1.
In the beginning I would photograph my trips with friends; taking photos of places we went to like the Libyan Desert. I left my job at the studio after 12 years and focused on self development, seeing as there are no institutions that teach photography in Libya. I learned a lot from the internet and from looking at the works of professional photographers worldwide.
When the Libyan revolution took place I covered the events in Benghazi before any foreign journalists got here. When they started arriving I would hand out DVDs of my work for free so that I could send out my photos to the world and that everyone could see what was happening here.
My first assignment for Reuters came when Suhaib Jadallah, a Reuters photographer in Gaza whom I met in Benghazi at the start of the Libyan revolution, asked me to go to a cemetery and document the funeral of rebels killed by forces loyal to then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Ajdabiyah. One of my photos was top picture of the day and I felt so happy. I felt this photo would be the start of a long road in photojournalism for me.
The Libyan revolution is the assignment that left the biggest mark on me. I saw my own countrymen fight each other every day, which brought much sadness to my heart. I can always empathise with the victims of the crisis.
I felt that it was my duty to my country as a press photographer to show the world what is really happening here.
The stories that excite me the most are the humanitarian ones because I feel that the photos I take on these assignments can actually make a difference through showing the world the suffering of people which could help in their aid.
My audience is the general public, I want to take pictures that are seen by everyone.
I really respect photojournalists in general, and specifically the Reuters team, for the work they do showing the truth with credibility and impartiality.