AlBouraq is a quadruped made of forty types of light. According to Islamic myth, AlBouraq takes Muhammad from Medina to Jerusalem to pray with Moses, and brings him back the same night, traveling in space and time at the speed of light.

Ameen always thought of AlBouraq as an airplane, or a time-machine, both probably. A Palestinian aero-mechanical engineer, he was banned from working at airports worldwide after the PLO plane hijackings in the 70s. Like many Palestinian men of his generation, he ended up working in oil and gas in the Gulf to provide for his family.

Zirku Island, historically a refuge for migratory birds, is today the property of ZADCO, a British-French oil company, housing one thousand of its employees, all men, that labor in the adjacent offshore oil platforms. Separated from their families, homes and lives, these men eat, sleep and work on this island off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

In 2020, daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Jerusalem were made available to the right passport holders, not to Ameen. One night, though, AlBouraq visits and takes him to Jerusalem, to a single moment in 1947, one image of many Palestinians including some Jews protesting for the last time in the streets of the city, refusing the partition of Palestine.

Not in prayer but in protest, Ameen traces his labor conditions on the island, his separation from his family, to the imperial extraction of land and people, from Israel to the United Arab Emirates.

(albouraQ, experimental doc, work-in-progress visual reference, 2021)
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razan al-salah is an artist and teacher.