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StreetWise – 24HourProject Interview with Abdullah Almalki by Sheldon Serkin

This is the first of nine interviews that Sheldon Serkin has completed with photographers involved with the incredible 24HourProject, please see his introductory article here. We have put each interview into a separate article so that it’s easier for you to navigate, they can all be found under our new column StreetWise, here.

This one is with Abdullah Almalki

What is your name and instagram username?

Abdullah Almalki, @almalkimedia


Image – @almalkimedia

Was this the first time you participated in this project, or have you taken part in previous years as well? If you participated previously, how did this year’s experience differ from past experiences?

No, I took part in it last year. But this year was different and great.


What city where you able to document?

Makkah  Mecca.


What inspired you to take part in this project?

The inspiration was from my city, because it’s the most important city for Muslims and there god holy house where all Muslims pray. (My inspiration was my city, because it’s the most important city for Muslims and there is God’s holy house where all Muslims pray.)


Did you plan where to go or did you have an idea what you wanted to document, or did you just let fate decide as you wandered through the streets?

Yes, It tried to plan, and which stations should I transit through so my city culture can show up/ (Yes, I tried to plan where I should travel to best represent my city’s culture.)


What was the biggest challenge you faced during the 24 hours?

Waking up all the time, mobility in the city and the pressure of time. (Staying awake for 24 hours, getting around the city, and the time pressure.)


Do you feel like the time pressure was beneficial to your creativity, or did it just make you nervous and diminish the quality of your images slightly?

I don’t know actually but I think it was a little bit tension. (I don’t know but there was a little bit of tension.)


Did you develop a workflow for every hour in order to manage uploading your next image in time?



Did you follow the IG feed of other excellent photographers taking part in the project? Why or why not?

No, I don’t know.


Image – @almalkimedia

What was your secret to staying up so long?

It was the coffee.


Would you take part in this again next year?



Was there a point when you considered giving up and going home? Did you walk the whole 24 hours?

I was so exhausted, especially after the first 12 hours. I decided to take a rest and then I got back to work.


Please share your 3 favorite images from the day and talk about why they are your favorites.

Cuz it’s reflect people’s lives in my city as I see it. (these three photos are my favorites because they reflect people’s lives in my city as I see them.)


Image – @almalkimedia

What were some thoughts that ran through your mind when you were finally able to crash into bed?

Just the sleep.


Sheldon has been shooting street photography in New York City with an iPhone since 2010. His work has been featured on a number of popular websites, including He is currently preparing Awful Bliss, his first book of street photographs, and posts daily on instagram, eyeem, and flickr as @shelserkin, and on his blog,