A family's lockdown Lego project that could launch a career

The Salloums started building Lego sets and creating elaborate backdrops for them. They hope to one day open a museum to display their creations

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Like many families, the Salloums had a lot of spare time on their hands during the early days of the pandemic.

They decided to spend it doing what they loved: building Lego. But the trio did not just assemble the sets. They devised entire scenes, accompanied by props and elaborate backgrounds, which they would photograph.

The restrictions were eventually lifted, and life returned to near-normal.

But the two boys, Lucas and Noah, who are aged seven and five, continued their project.

They recently set up an Instagram page, which is attracting the interest of Lego fans from all over the world.

Ziad Salloum, the two boys’ father, said it all started around this time last year, when the family visited Prague.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 25, 2020.   STORY BRIEF: Ziad Salloum and his kids started a Lego building project during the lockdown, which has continued since. 
They built Lego and created special scenes around it and took pics of them. They've now started an instagram page.  --  Ziad setting up his iphone before shooting a NASA Space Shuttle themed instagram portrait.
 Victor Besa/The National
Reporter:  Gillian Duncan
Section:  NA

“We realised there was a Lego museum and the kids are completely mad about Lego,” said the lawyer, who lives in Abu Dhabi.

“We went there and we got to see this fan’s story. Because it’s owned by a fan who is completely Lego mad and it took over his life and he kept collecting and collecting and he eventually opened up this museum.”

That gave the boys an idea: to set up their own Lego museum one day.

The restrictions gave them the time they needed to start collecting.

“We were all home. We weren’t quite fraying at the edges. But we started this little project,” said Mr Salloum.

“Every few days we would come up with an idea and talk it through. Talking it through would take a few hours sometimes to a few minutes.”

They have now created more than two dozen scenes, including a ship that looks like it is sailing the high seas, a helicopter rescue, a moon landing, a pirate fight and the Saturn V rocket launch.

Lucas, the eldest, had built the rocket unaided a couple of years before.

They took some Tupperware, which they painted orange, lighting it from behind to make it look like it was on fire, adding cotton wool balls on top to represent smoke from the take-off.

“I have two or three favourites. The first one was the rocket,” said Lucas, who is seven.

“The second one was one of my Ninjagos, when they were fighting against the bad guys.

“The third one was when we were in the desert. I got the Land Rover and my dad continued it and I used tracks to make it look like it was driving.”

Next up is a fisherman’s hut with a kayak, said the Cranleigh Abu Dhabi school pupil.

“We’re going to put water around with a small lake with a kayak. There are two people, a kid and an adult.”

“I want to do a space station,” said his brother, Noah, five. “I would like it to be all dark behind like space with planets.”

The boys have it all planned.

Their museum will even have its own cafe, catered by Noah.

“On top of the museum there will be a restaurant and I will be the cook,” said the five year old.

“I will cook fish, pancake, pasta and vegetables and a bit of chocolate.”