Walid puts focus on praising adopted city

Edinburgh-based award-winning filmmaker Walid Salhab is taking part in a campiagn highlighting the contribution of international students and Scotland's cultural diversity.

Friday, 20th January 2017, 9:00 am
Filmmaker Walid Salhab welcomes Edinburghs cultural diversity

The filmmaker produces stunning time-lapse films of Edinburgh – and was the only person to capture the full build phase of the Kelpies in Falkirk.

Walid, a media practice lecturer at Queen Margaret University, was brought up in Lebanon. He came to Edinburgh in 1978 aged 17 to escape the civil war and further his education.

He went on to study English at Stevenson College and then moved to the former Queen Margaret College to study information technology.

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Walid married a woman from Glasgow and after having a son, the couple returned to Lebanon. Walid worked for a TV station as a graphic artist and was eventually promoted to programme producer. After three years, he returned to Scotland to specialise in TV production at Jewel and Esk Valley College, now Edinburgh College.

Following graduation, Walid worked as a freelance filmmaker and as a documentary maker for museums, arts centres and community organisations.

“I went on a journey of discovery and fell in love with the natural beauty of the country and its people”, said Walid. “Edinburgh has been my permanent home since 1994, and although I have travelled abroad a lot, I have no desire to live anywhere else.”

Walid, 55, has been working at Queen Margaret University since 2000. Walid has helped to put the city on the global map. Over the last few years, he has developed a unique style of stop-motion and time-lapse filming which has captured the attention of an international audience. In the last few years, his creative work has taken centre stage at international film festivals – in 2016 Avaratia, his stop-motion animation film, was screened at Cannes in France and Busho in Budapest.

Walid is now supporting the Universities Scotland’s “Scotland’s universities welcome the world” – a global campaign to celebrate the many nationalities of staff and students that work and study in Scotland’s universities and the contribution they make.

Queen Margaret University is backing the campaign and celebrating being home to people and cultures from around the world.

Walid said: “I love Edinburgh because of its cultural diversity. Scotland’s capital is a truly international city where ethnic minorities are interspersed evenly throughout out the local population. Edinburgh, and Scotland as a whole, is cultural melting pot for international students. Edinburgh and Scotland present endless opportunities for me as a citizen and a filmmaker. I have often used the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe as backdrops to my films.”