Third-year Art + Design student Nabila Abuljadayel recently served as the official event photographer for Harvard Arab Weekend, the largest pan-Arab conference in North America. We interviewed her about her experience, asked her to share some of her favorite photos from the event, and learned more about her time at Northeastern’s College of Arts, Media and Design.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Digital Arts with a concentration in Animation. Minors in Cinema Studies and Graphic Design. I also studied filmmaking for a semester at Harvard University.
How did you become the official event photographer for Harvard Arab Weekend?
I heard about the event from a friend. After I saw the list of speakers, I knew that I NEEDED to be a photographer at this event. So I contacted Harvard Arab Weekend’s team and submitted my portfolio. Fortunately, they liked my work and decided to choose me to photograph the four-day event.
What are your favorite images from the event?
I love when the speakers are engaging directly with the camera, when I’m able to capture a spontaneous moment, and when I can take pictures of people I admire.
The images below showcase the most important keynote speakers in Harvard Arab Weekend, including Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and Prince Moulay Hicham of Morocco. I was particularly excited to photograph my fellow Saudi Arabians Saudi Minister of Labor Adel Fakeih; Reem Asaad, who was nominated 3rd Most Powerful Arab by Arabian Business Week in 2012; HRH Prince Fahad Al-Saud; and Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel. (You can see more photos from the event on my Instagram feed.)
Any other favorite moments?
Food time! There was so much good food all weekend long!
How has your time at Northeastern impacted you?
What I have learned at Northeastern is that you need to know how to hustle… Yes, hustle. In other words, you need to have an entrepreneurial approach to life. Things do not necessarily come to you, you go to them. It’s all about being ready when luck strikes – that’s exactly what happened when I approached the Harvard team.
What are your plans for the year ahead
My dream is to do a photography co-op with Real Madrid, the world’s biggest football club and my favorite club. As a loyal fan since 2002, I would bring the fans’ perspective into my work and hopefully produce something different and special for the club.
What are your hobbies other than photography?
Laughing and drinking turkish coffee with mom. Watching football (NOT “soccer”) matches, reading old Arabic novels, playing archery and tennis, composing music, pretending I’m the female Mozart….
Anything else you’d like to share?
Recently, I became the first female cartoonist for Asharq Al-Awsat, the leading Arabic International daily newspaper. It’s the equivalent of The New York Times but in the Middle East. Check back on Thursdays for my latest post and enjoy my first two cartoons here: