Moueen Maatouk began his career as a photojournalist in 1965. For the next thirty years he passionately dedicated his life to photography. Prior to 1965 he approached photography as a hobby. As his love for taking photographs grew his hobby metamorphosed into his much applauded career. After undergoing unbearable hardship and innumerable death-defying situations he chose to abandon the profession of photography in 1995.
Moueen Maatouk studied photography at the Dalati and Nahra Institution. His chief mentor and guide was the famed photojournalist Asaad Jeradi. Moueen Maatouk’s book of photographs entitled “Beirut Al Ihtilal, Aasima Aarabiya” is much acclaimed in the Arab world and internationally.
The unstable situation in Lebanon , in particular the Lebanese Civil War, cultivated his interest to delve deeper into photography with the objective of uncovering and revealing the bare facts. He states, “Photographs are concrete expressions of reality. Photographers serve as witnesses to events. Moueen Maatouk reveals blatant reality without distorting or tampering with his photographic images.
Moueen Maatouk affirms that danger is always prevalent during the ongoing Israeli invasions of Lebanon . He recalls a terrifying incident during the Israeli invasion of Beirut , “It was Sunday and the Israeli airplanes were relentlessly bombarding Al Hamra Street . This day was the most dangerous and horrifying of my life. Photographers can not perform their job if they are afraid, they must be exempt from fear and courageous in the face of death. Every step the photographer takes requires extreme caution and alertness.”
Moueen Maatouk states, “An ideal photographic image should articulately define an incident and record the impact on human emotions at the exact moment the incident takes place. The camera becomes my eyes. It selects the most representative timing of the incident. Taking photographs overshadows assisting those in danger. Specialized professionals help the injured. I am incapable of being a photographer and an aide at the same time. As a photographer I need to seize the moment in order to capture explicit messages that expose reality. My role is to show the injured person’s sufferings and agonies. When photographing I superimpose my thoughts into my pictures. I embed my thoughts into the photograph the moment I snap the photograph. Political unsteadiness does not affect my ability to perform because I mentally transform all negatives into positives. During the war nothing presents barriers. I am concerned about the welfare of my family, but regardless of how terrifying the circumstances are I must perform my job”.
Moueen Maatouk’s message to the Lebanese people is, “Disregard and scrub out categorizations of race, ethnicity and political views. I have great reverence for my colleagues and the martyred photojournalists who have gone before me: Abed Al Razak Al Sayed, George Semerdjian, and the many others who sacrificed their lives in their efforts to reveal truth. God bless the martyrs”.
Name and Surname: Moueen Maatouk
• Place of birth: Bashoura, Beirut .
• Date of birth: 1951
• Agency employment:
“Al Amal” (Work) Newspaper , “Al Yom” (Today) Newspaper, “Al Nide” Newspaper,, “Al Akhbar” Newspaper,“Al Mouharer” Newspaper,“Al Liwe” Newspaper,Al Bine” Newspaper, “Al Safir” Newspaper,“Al Shraa” Magazine,“Qalam Al Sarih” Magazine, “Al Mshwar”,AFP (Agence France Press)
• Length of Career: 1965-1995