Photo Exhibition by Peter Sanders

@ The Hangar (UMAM D&R)

October 5 – 10, 2007

Muslims of Britain, a photo exhibition by Peter Sanders, depicts the everyday lives of those in Britain’s vast Muslim population. After having toured several Lebanese locations, it made its last stop at The Hangar in Dahiyeh, Beirut’s southern suburb. Taking place after events such as the Iraq War, the July 2006 war, and the Danish cartoon controversy—a critical period of Muslim coverage by the media—Sanders’s exhibition contradicts the published stereotypes. It provides a refreshing portrait of the Muslim community as an important contributor to the richness and diversity of British culture.

This 20-photograph exhibition shows the importance of British Muslims in their adoptive communities and highlights their participation in and adaptation to British life. In one photograph, for example, a Muslim police officer is shown conversing with another officer on the job. Sander’s portrays some of the important positions held by Muslims in British society, such as on a BBC news set or alongside Queen Elizabeth.

Sponsored by the British Embassy and the British Council, UMAM D&R was honored to host this world famous photographer and distinguished guests including Frances Guy, Britain’s Ambassador to Lebanon. Of course, since this event was held at The Hangar, it afforded the residents of Dahiyeh the opportunity to experience firsthand contact with Britain and part of its Muslim population. Of note, the event again underscored The Hangar’s “mission” of serving as a venue to prompt dialogue among diverse gatherings of viewers, thus helping to overcome negative stereotypes. Instilling this sense of empowerment simply by offering a public forum in a strategic locale is but one approach UMAM D&R takes to advance the establishment of civil society locally and globally.

Peter Sanders

Peter Sanders is the world’s pre-eminent photographer of the Muslim world. For more than 45 years, he has captured over half a million images reflecting a rich traditional civilization filled with warmth, humanity and compassion.

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