Umayyad Mosque

As part of our photo contest, we’re featuring some of our favorites here on the blog. Every week we’ll be bringing you another photo that in one way or another reflects our mission statement: educating and inspiring audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving and conversations worth sustaining.

We chose this photo because it represents both an issue that matters and a culture worth exploring. The Western world’s relationship with Arabic nations is one of the most critical issues of the past century, and may very well remain so in this century.

Correspondingly, we have several special guests at Mountainfilm this year who will be exploring Arabic issues: Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools, whose mission is to build schools in rural Afghanistan and Pakistan; Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, President Obama’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan; and George Packer, a staff writer for The New Yorker and author of, among other titles, Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq. All three special guests will give individual presentations throughout the weekend, and will host a joint conversation on Sunday.

For your chance to be featured on The Conversation and possibly winning free gear and a VIP Festival Package, please submit your photo. More details here.