Interview with Filmmaker Abd el Rahman Gabr or Koree (Arabic nickname for Korean guy).
In this series, I explore the talents of many multi-disciplinary artists who are interested in capturing stories through images and the true messages that lay beyond each photograph.
I interviewed online Abd el Rahman (Koree), his nickname is adopted from being half Egyptian, half Korean. We talked about many topics, how he became a photographer, how he turns his talents and travels into storytelling and filmmaking, and his love to travel and explore the world. R represents my questions and K are his. Enjoy!
R: Tell us a little about you.
K: I love to tell stories by bringing photos and films together. I work on documenting human life stories that relate and portray culture with lifestyle. I was born in Queens, New York.
R: Where is home?
K: Alexandria, Egypt.
R: What is it you want to say with your photographs (the message in your work), and how do you actually get your photographs to do that?
K: In my journey of Faces of Egypt – a series of portraits of urban and local Egyptians, mostly located in the south region of Egypt. I wanted to let go of stereotype images when it comes to Egyptian culture. I met with the locals in the area, I talked to them, I asked many questions, and needed their help in locating magical, and non-famous (non-touristic) locations for my project. I began photographing landscapes and that is when I decided to embrace diverse Egyptian cultures and ask the locals to create cinematic poses for each shot, wearing traditional costumes that represent their hometowns. Sometimes, as Egyptians, we can easily forget that Egypt is not just a collective documentation of Ancient Egypt, the Pyramids, and the Sphinx, there is so much more to see, especially south (upper Egypt). I was seeking diversity in our cultural traditions and norms and I found it through the people and traditions.
R: What was your career path? How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it full-time, for a living?
K: Photography has been a passion since I was a little kid. During college, I decided to express this talent through my city and launched my first project about Alexandria City. I grew more interested in cultural references and traditional costumes.
R: if you could live anywhere on this awesome planet, where would you build your dream home?
K: Canada – I love the nature and scenery.
R: What sort of work do you specialize in?
K: I specialize in creating films through photography, to tell stories. I worked on advertising, documentary, and lifestyle.
R: What technology/software/camera gear do you use to keep focused on what you do best, as you photograph?
K: The Adobe suite – Leica Camera Media Format Camera – Sony Cameras Mirrorless.
R: Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?
K: Faces of Egypt is the most interesting project. The travel and process gave me a lot of coverage and followers. Choosing a topic these days are very difficult, the competition is high and everything is available on the Internet. I met incredible people through Faces of Egypt and it has definitely created many opportunities in meeting people in Europe and in Arab countries.
R: Most recent works?
K: I am documenting stories in collaboration with UN World Food Program Project. WFP operations in Egypt are designed to respond to the country’s long-term food and nutrition insecurity as well as providing funding for social safety nets including school feeding and mother and child nutrition.This project takes place in 1000 days to document a total of 6 videos creating an awareness campaign for children and mothers in Egypt.
R: Most recent trip?
K: Norway. To see the Northern Lights (Aurora) and explore the beauty of nature and to capture life. Sony and Leica were kind enough to lend me cameras for a 9-day project underneath the Northern Lights.
R: Thank you. Don’t forget to follow KoreeFilms on Youtube.