The beautiful world of Islam: Peter Sanders’ Dubai exhibition

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Peter Sanders's journey through Muslim lands led to his conversion to the faith, and a wonderful document of its beauty.

The length of photographer Peter Sanders’s career is matched only by that of his spiritual journey around the world.

As a young man in London during the 1960s, Sanders used his camera to chronicle the rising stars of rock and pop, including Bob Dylan, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones.

It was a search for spirituality that led him to India in the 1970s on the so-called Hippy Trail.

Then it was on to North Africa, and finally to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, where he became one of the first professional photographers to capture the Haj ceremonies.

By then, Sanders had embraced Islam, drawn to the religion by its simplicity and compassion, he says.

Over three decades, he devoted himself to photographing the Islamic world, creating a record of these traditional societies.

This week an exhibition of his work, The World is but a Moment, opens at The Empty Quarter gallery in Dubai International Financial Centre.

The images are drawn from more than 250,000 he has taken in 40 countries with Muslim communities.

They include Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, his native Britain, China and the United States.

“Photography is a wonderful process, a gift from God that has allowed me to learn so much about myself and the world around me,” Sanders says of his faith. “It’s like chasing a moment, trying to capture a beautiful bird in flight.”

• The World is but a Moment runs from April 23 to June 15 at the Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai; visit their website for details. Admission is free.