WORKFLOW: Mussafah

WORKFLOW is a ongoing blog post that will convey my experiences while on assignment. These thoughts might range from the impression a subject has left to explanations about the conceptual approach in the visual reporting. Enjoy.




Assignment: Physicians with the Emirates National Mobile Medicare Hospital offer free medical care to the working class at a labor camp in Mussafah. 

During this particular shoot, the writer, videographer and I arrived at 4:00. However, things did not get rolling until one of the physicians eventually arrived about an hour or so later. To his defense, you have to understand "Arab Time." 

Here in the UAE, you'll quickly learn what the locals mean when they use this term. Essentially, nothing will begin until after the actual scheduled starting time. I could be wrong but I'm guessing that around here if you want people to arrive at your function at 2:00 tell them it starts at 1:00. If you're lucky people will start to show up around 2:30, maybe just maybe. 

Prior to moving to Abu Dhabi, I have to admit that patience was not my greatest asset. However, I found that without a disciplined application of this virtue I would never make it here. 

In the UAE, many things move very slowly. Finding a flat, getting a license, receiving your mail, legal paperwork, replies from emails, etc, etc, etc. The long standing joke with the expats here is to "hurry up and wait." 

So the story goes, most of the assignments I shoot tend to never start on time. As frustrating as that can be, it is a true test of ones patience. Rather than add to the problem I have learned to create my own solution by bringing a good book along with me to pacify the wait. I'm surprised by how many books I have read since moving here. 

In the end, my patience has matured and so have I to some degree. Mama would be proud!