Friday, November 1, 2013


Abdulrahman Khathlan (aka Al-Najel)

I was born and grew up in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, only 60 kilometers from the coast of the Red Sea. I still remember vividly the first time I snorkeled there, and how I was amazed at the beauty and richness of the coral reef. The contrast was unbelievable; between the blue, clear, rich waters of the Red Sea, and the vast flat lifeless desert next to the beach.
I became a certified diver in 1984, and then a PADI diving instructor in 1993. Over the years, I went diving whenever I had an opportunity, and have now accumulated more than 5500 dives all over the world. Most of my dives are in Saudi Arabian waters, including its 1600 kilometers coast along the Red Sea, and the small coral islands of the Arabian Gulf. In the Mideast, I also dived in Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Kuwait, UAE, and Oman. In the Indo-Pacific, I visited Maldives, Burma Banks, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Australia. In the US/Caribbean I dived in Caymans, Bahamas, Mexico, Belize, Cuba, Bonaire, Florida, California, and Hawaii.

My first underwater camera was the famous and primitive Nikonos V. Over the past 20 years, I have used many different SLR Nikon cameras with Ikelite housings and strobes, moving into digital in 2005. Currently I own 2 housings for Nikon D90 & D7000, with an assortment of lenses. My favorite UW photography is wide angle, taking advantage of the clear blue water of the Red Sea to capture its dramatic walls and wrecks. But I must admit that in the past 8 years, I became addicted to muck-diving to photograph the bizarre critters of famous locations such as Lembeh, Ambon, Tulamben and Anilao.