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Interview with Humans of Khartoum founder: Qusai Akoud

Qusai Widaa Mohamed Elhassan Akoud, a 26 years old, graduated from the University of Khartoum, Facutly of Mathematical Sciences, majored in Information Technology. Now a graduate student at Boston University.

From El-Tayef, Khartoum, Sudan.

Winner of the Union of the Sudanese Journalists award for the Best Sudanese Photographer for two consecutive years, 2010 & 2011 and founder of Humans of Khartoum.

1)    How did you begin your work in photography?

I started photography in 2007, I used my father’s Sony Cybershot compact camera, but I think the real start is when I took my brother’s Nikon D100 DSLR camera in late 2007, I was keen to learn how to use this advanced camera, and how to produce great images and portraits.

2)    Why did you decide to begin HoK?

I was fascinated by the “Humans of New York” project, I read some stories and I loved it, then I got a huge push from a dear friend of mine to start HoK, she’s a co-founder and the admin of the fb page now.

3)    Do you believe that photography and arts are appreciated in Sudan? If they are not, how can people change that?

I think the people of Sudan really enjoy all sorts of art but I don’t think it’s well appreciated, there’s a huge lack of appreciation of the arts due to cultural and economic factors. To change that, I think we can start by improving the economic situation first then the cultural factors, which I think can be influenced by exposing people to other countries cultures and arts. Then, people will be able to think about and appreciate things like art and photography.

4)    What are your biggest accomplishments?

HoK, and 2 photography awards.

5)    How has education encouraged you to pursue photography, or how has education improved your photography skills?

Unfortunately my education is completely irrelevant to the field of photography, but I think having the knowledge about how things work has helped me a lot, knowing what I need to do to produce a specific effect or perspective.

6) Are you organizing any future projects?

 Thinking about starting HoB, Humans of Boston

7)    What is something you would like to do in the future with your skill/talent?

I want to do something more for the people of Sudan, maybe some documentaries, and some portrait projects. I’m really fascinated by the diversity and the character of the Sudanese man!

8) How can Sudanese people of all generations appreciate HoK? What should HoK mean to them?

I think HoK speaks to everyone, it’s part of people’s lives, it’s the true mirror of the Sudanese people.

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