'Pilgerlager in der Ebene östlich vom ‘Arafah-berge'. Photographer: al-Sayyid ʻAbd al-Ghaffār


Download PDF (12 MB)

Search within this record

The record is made up of 1 collotype print. It was created in 1886-1889. It was written in Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: Visual Arts.

About this record


Genre/Subject Matter:

This landscape view shows ‘[a] pilgrims’ camp in the Plain east of Mount ‘Arafah’. Located 21 km southeast of the Masjid al-Haram, the plain, which extends 6 km from east to west and 12 km from north to south, and the 70 metre high granite hill at the centre of it are stations of the hadj. Mount Arafat is located northeast of the plain and is also known as Jabal al-Rahmah or Mount of Mercy.

In this image the plain is populated by a wide variety of tents while in the foreground three camels are couched around one low-lying tent. A figure crouches alongside the camel at centre.

The negative has had hand-work applied, creating a drawing-like quality where the original plate may have been over-exposed, particularly in the right and along the horizon.

Arabic script written directly into the image has been erased subtly, but is visible upon close inspection in the lower right of the image as well as in the central sky area of the image.


Above image, on the right, in ink: ‘XVI’

Temporal Context:

According to Durkje van der Wal in his publication Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje: The First Western Photographer in Mecca, 1884-1885 (Amsterdam : Manfred & Hanna Heiting Fund, Rijksmuseum, 2011, pp. 43-51), the photographs in this publication that pertain to the hadj (this image included) likely date to August 1888 since this was the period of the last hadj before February 1889, the date Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje received the final consignment of images.

Extent and format
1 collotype print
Physical characteristics


186 x 240 mm


Collotype print, pasted into volume


The print is in good condition with minor surface dirt and light abrasions throughout.





Written in
Arabic in Arabic script

Archive information for this record

Access & Reference

Original held at
British Library: Visual Arts
Access conditions


Archive reference

History of this record

1886-1889 (CE, Gregorian)

Use and share this record

Share this record
Cite this record in your research

'Pilgerlager in der Ebene östlich vom ‘Arafah-berge'. Photographer: al-Sayyid ʻAbd al-Ghaffār, British Library: Visual Arts, X463/17, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023514790.0x00000c> [accessed 5 March 2024]

Link to this record
IIIF details

This record has a IIIF manifest available as follows. If you have a compatible viewer you can drag the icon to load it.https://www.qdl.qa/en/iiif/81055/vdc_100022564627.0x000001/manifestOpen in Universal viewerOpen in Mirador viewerMore options for embedding images