During youth Mustafa Jamal Al Deen was passionately drawn to photography. He diligently studied the photographs in Al Safir newspaper daily. Eventually he was introduced to two photographers who became his mentors, Michel Berzghal and Nabih Nasar, both notable and highly regarded Lebanese photographers. The two masters of photography taught him basic photographic skills and guided him on his path to choosing a career in photojournalism.
As a young boy Mustafa Jamal Al Deen was attracted to adventure, exploration and danger, a trait that has followed him into adulthood and served him well as a photojournalist. As a photographer he has encountered many formidable and dangerous situations. He describes the most life-threatening day of his career as being in 1990 during the Parliament Elections. Mustafa and his colleagues were traveling south to photograph. Upon entering Maabar Ferd Al Nabid in Nabatiyeh they were confronted with a group of irate people on a street corner violently yelling and verbally attacking the group. He was unaware that they were Israelis. When they started shooting he understood the severity of the situation and barely escaped with his life.
As a photojournalist he faces daily risks during terror campaigns, yet he doesn’t let the bullets deter him from photographing. The concerns of his family for his welfare do not influence his choice of assignments. He states, “A photographer cannot perform his job and stay at home. The camera is how I converse with the world. A photographer without a camera is like a soldier without a weapon.”
Mustafa Jamal Al Deen prioritizes photographing over assisting an injured person, stating “I have to concentrate on my work. I cannot pass up the ‘perfect’ picture in lieu of helping injured people. When it is possible to photograph and help others I do both.”
His ultimate goal is to leave a trace of Lebanon ’s history for future generations in his photographs. His hope is that Lebanese politicians and leaders will permit photographers the freedom to photograph. His intent is to deliver photographic messages that disclose the undisclosed realities in Lebanon . He states, “Photojournalism feeds my body and photography feeds my soul”.
• Name and Surname: Mustafa Jamal Al Deen
• Place of birth: Baalbek,Lebanon
• Date of birth: 1968
• Agency of Employment: “Al Safir” newspaper, ?, ?
• Length of Career: 1986 to Present