"These neon kiosks are a symbol of Jeddah ... they are iconic and you only find them in this city. They are the only places open really late...2am...4am...selling Madinah mint tea and everything else: cigarettes, noodles, swimming goggles, popcorn, prayer mats ... Everything you want. Its like a mini hypermarket. To me, they symbolise both the old Arabic culture: a place to meet and talk; as well as something very futuristic. An intense ball of consumer energy."
Born 1984 in Jeddah, Salem is of Yemeni decent. Having travelled to Malaysia for further education, he received a diploma in advertising from Limkokwing University in 2006. In 2007, he completed his bachelor degree in advertising from Curtin University, Perth, Australia. Photography was a module taught in his course, however paid little attention at the time. Having worked in several established photography and design studio’s, Salem set up a photography studio called 181 Degrees in 2009. His first major stint in the contemporary art world was through Edge of Arabia’s We Need to Talk exhibition in Jeddah where Salem began the project Neonland comprising of a series of iconic photographs capturing the essence of the cosmopolitan city of Jeddah.