The itinerary of Roger Grasas through the countries of the Persian Gulf region has something of a nineteenth-century journey of exploration. Min Turab –the title means “of the earth” in Arabic– shows how a landscape can be torn, fractured, and swept away, with a new one imposed in its place. For years now, certain places on the planet have rivaled one another in their almost obscene levels of extravagance, gaudiness, and environmental irresponsibility, all fueled by petrodollars. The perspective of Roger Grasas on these new urban centers and their unbridled development is from a slightly different vantage point: from the outskirts, the edges, the periphery, or from the dead-end street. Each and every one of the images in this book indicates or reflects, to a greater or lesser extent, a point of no return, an alteration that has annihilated not only certain landscape vistas but, much more importantly, certain ways of life.
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