A group of boys take a school trip in Kuwait to al-Fintas in , accompanied by smartly dressed teachers. These are just some of the 15 images on show in this gallery, a taste of Middle Eastern history in its rich tapestry. Middle East Arab Image Foundation: Individual items, for example, are routinely referred to as "objects" by AIF staff, not images or photographs, to reflect the dynamic and multi-layered nature of each artefact. In , a brand new hospital in Qatar sits in a lonely spot, no traffic interrupting the road ahead. Dressed in a white t-shirt and raised on another protester's shoulders, a man in the Lebanese city of Saida joins a public demonstration in support of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in We were interested how they worked, what material they used, how they made aesthetic choices and who taught them. To mark 20 years of AIF, this is a brief visual celebration of the Arab world as caught on film by some of the region's most prolific photographers. Led by its year-old director, Marc Mouarkech, the organisation has adopted a highly developed approach to its prized possessions. Collecting photos for 20 years A brief visual celebration of the Arab world as caught on film by some of the region's most prolific photographers. Today, it holds hundreds of thousands of images from not only its home country but also the likes of Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia, as well as the wider Arab diaspora. Reporting by Alasdair Soussi. Many in the region didn't then consider photographs "worth keeping unless for the emotional ties to the subjects in it"," said Zaatari, a Lebanese photographer and filmmaker. As one of the most prominent cultural institutions in the Middle East, the Arab Image Foundation AIF has led the way in the collection, preservation and study of photographs from the region. Established in Beirut, Lebanon, in , AIF has spent 20 years contributing to a greater cultural, political and social understanding of the Middle East. During the same month, it will re-open its doors to visitors after a period of closure to outsiders.