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Eman Ali, a UK-born Omani photographer, captures a striking portrait of Nusaiba Al Maskari, a pole dancing instructor in Oman, in her series "The Earth Would Die if the Sun Stopped Kissing Her." The photograph showcases the strength of Al Maskari's body and creates a visual simile between her graceful pose on the pole and the majestic Hajar Mountains in the background. Ali was drawn to Al Maskari's story and her unique position as a pole dancing instructor in a more conservative environment. She admires Al Maskari's bravery in bringing a sport that celebrates female sensuality to Oman and appreciates how she empowers women and helps them feel confident in their bodies. The portrait is part of Ali's larger series, which serves as a love letter to Oman, highlighting the beauty, imperfections, and strength of the land and its people. Ali's memories of nature in Oman, from childhood camping trips to diving in the Gulf of Oman, inspire her connection to the environment. Instead of photographing Al Maskari in her studio, Ali chose to meet her at the Bousher Sand Dunes, known as "Urooq," to incorporate the natural surroundings into the portrait. The image captures the harmony between the female body and nature, and Ali was drawn to its symmetry and the relationship between Al Maskari and the landscape. Al Maskari appreciated the photograph and used it on her studio's Instagram page to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Ali plans to attend one of Al Maskari's classes in the future and commends her for providing a safe space for women, promoting body positivity, and normalizing pole dancing as both exercise and an art form.


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