Fadi Abou Galioum graduated from Lebanese American University , formerly Beirut University College, with a major in Audio Visual and major in Photography. Since then he has conducted photography workshops at the Russian Cultural Center . Originally he pursued photography as a hobby. It wasn’t until his photographs were published in the Daily Star and the chief editor of the newspaper, Muhammad Azakir, provided him with a retainer that Fadi began pursuing photography as a full time profession.
Fadi attests that July 13th 2006 was, thus far, the most dangerous day of his career. He describes the day as follows, “At precisely 3:40 in the morning Israeli bombs exploded one hundred meters in front of me on the bridge leading to the airport. The intense sound of the explosions caused hearing loss that resulted in complete deafness for two hours. It was on this day that I witnessed a fatality.”
He believes that an ideal photograph should speak unaccompanied by captions, subsisting exclusively on its own. Fadi considers his camera as vital as oxygen, “It’s as essential as breathing. I never leave home without my camera. I shoot photos of every aspect of life.”
On numerous occasions Fadi had to choose between helping victims and taking photographs. Thus far his priority has been to photograph, stating “A photo can capture sensations and feelings that disclose the ills of society, and in so doing, triumph over the perpetrators by exposing man’s inhumanity to his fellow man.”
Fadi Abou Galioum assumes that photographers differ in their attitudes and approaches. Unlike many photographers he interjects his personal bias into his photographs. Fadi describes photographs as being analogous to food, each retaining a unique flavor. He infuses his photographs with his consciousness with the intent of causing specific responses. He contends that, “Situations are temporary. Photographs are factual records that are passed from one generation to the next. Photographs insure the historic preservation of events.”
Fadi Abou Galioum states that the political unsteadiness in Lebanon has adversely affected his career. He states that “Politicians are oblivious to the fact that a photographer does not reflect the face of an agency. Political leaders categorize photographers according to the agency that employs them. The truth is that photographers transmit messages and news through photographs and are not associated with political parties.”
He claims that in Lebanon photographers are not valued and are deprived of their civil rights. He asserts that “It is commonplace in Lebanon for photographers to be chased, threatened and beaten; whereas, in Europe photojournalists are protected and considered more valuable than the president.” His hopes are that the government will realize the value of photography and respect and protect photographers.
Fadi is unmarried and lives with his parents in Mazraat zone. During incidents of war his mother locked the door, in hopes that her son wouldn’t risk his life ‘by walking off to the battle field.’ To circumvent the locked door Fadi chose a more dangerous escape route, the balcony. Finally accepting that her son was determined to overcome all obstacles in his path, Fadi’s mother changed her tactics. She now unlocks the door and blesses him with ‘God be with you’ when he leaves.
His message to Lebanese youth is that “Photography is a spectacular career; it involves adventure and risky situations. A photograph grabs peoples’ attention by telling a story. A photographic image eventually becomes a historical memory. Human beings are born, live and pass away, but a photo never expires. Its existence conjures up memories, be they joyful, sorrowful or dreadful.”
• Name and Surname: Fadi Abou Galioum
• Place of birth: Beirut , Lebanon
• Date of birth: September 14, 1974
• Agency Employment “Daily Star” newspaper
• Length of Career: Since 1996.