by Kody Klein, Published December 12, 2012
If you've seen any particularly impressive photographs of Eastern Michigan University athletics in the last year, chances are they were taken by international student Anmmar Alnimar.
When pondering his passion for photography, Alnimar quotes Jay Maisel, who said, "Photography is a license to steal experiences."
"I like just watching people," he says with soft, smiling candor. "I like to capture that moment and play with it."
Alnimar came to the United States in 2006 with his wife Zahra, both on academic scholarships from the government of Saudi Arabia, their home country. He says despite all of the schools he applied to accepting his application, including the University of Michigan, he struggled to find a college that suited him-until he came to EMU.
"I just went to the place I felt comfortable with," he says. "EMU did it for me and it's still doing it. I love EMU. Something about the atmosphere, the environment on campus, and the people here."
Although he's been here for several years, it wasn't until 2011 that Alnimar joined The Eastern Echo staff and began dominating campus photography.
"I fell in love with photography back in 2007 here in the U.S.," he says. "I bought my own camera and started shooting around. But I didn't really get into photography until I joined The Echo team."
Joining The Echo staff was so pivotal for Alnimar that he remembers the exact date of his first photo assignment: October 28, 2011.
"That's when it boomed for me," he says. "It's become really my passion. I feel like I'm getting more confident in my photography."
More recently, Alnimar has been shooting photos extensively for Randy Mascharka, the University's photographer. He even has an office in the basement of Welch Hall. It's somewhat narrow and cluttered with boxes, cameras and a plethora of photographic equipment.
"Shooting with Randy, you cover almost everything going on around campus," Alnimar says. "Start from headshots for the athletes, covering many events around campus. I have more access to a lot of facilities and to a lot of people."
Though photography is his passion, the degree Alnimar will receive at the end of this semester is in computer information systems. Almost immediately after his graduation, he, Zahra, and their daughters, four-year-old Mayar and five-month-old Reema, will return to Saudi Arabia; something he observably laments.
Although he's leaving, Alnimar says he cherishes the time he's spent in the U.S. and the people he's met while here.
"I loved living here in the United States," he says. "The last six years have been the best six years of my life. It was an incredible journey. I love the people here...so kind, so friendly. All in all, I love the experience in the United States, especially at EMU."
More than 1,000 students from 87 countries are currently studying at Eastern Michigan University, including more than 140 from Alnimar's home country of Saudi Arabia.