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Sti Fatma Series | The Very Real Side of Tourist Entertainment | My mother and I find ourselves serenaded bank side of a waterfall footpath as we tuck into lunch in the middle of a hiking excursion of the Sti Fatma mountains. The sound is upbeat and airy, with the thud of the bendir (frame drum) and its deep vibration being induced merily from the fibres of the gentlemen on the right. In full traditional attire (or Djelleba as theyRead more

Book

Recommended reading from feminist narratives in the Arab world: How long had she been living on the top floor of this empty building that stood by the side of the road? Lila couldn’t say. She didn’t question it; why count the days? It might have been before dawn today or yesterday at daybreak or perhaps three or four days ago that she was slinking around and had entered this freshly painted sunny place, as if mere chance had driven herRead more

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Algiers Series | Grande Poste Family | Some time has passed and life opens like a beautiful flower. When the people speak of La Grande Poste, my heart flutters with each syllabe as I hang on to every word my father had told of an époque filled with art and creativity. My father spent the best of his youth in an apartment adjacent and arm in arm with the big old architectural beauty that people frequent for their daily mail,Read more

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Algiers Series | Unexpected Love Story | Didou swore by his love for his wife. So much so that he decorated every corner of his inner city apartment block in ceramic celebrations of her life. After all it was her dying wish. In the entrance hallway of a European build, he has plastered pictures of his beloved, family members and memories from his boxing days. Didou talks through every picture like a tribute, each attached to a story he insistsRead more

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Doha Series | Maghrib |The call to prayer echos throughout the older parts of the city and across the centralised Souq. Men rush to perform oblution before the call is over. It’s a magnetic force of good to remind them all that whatever happens from day to day, a collective prayer keeps them hopefully united, humble and giving.Read more

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Doha Series | Souq Baggage | It’s just after 4pm and the Souq reopens for the evening. A hamaliya worker (mover in Arabic) paid to carry heavy goods in his wheel barrow takes a rest on it while the shopkeeper packs the items he is to transport to the customer’s car. He prays on his prayer beads, reciting religious scripture at every possible moment he gets for himself and it’s peaceful to observe.  Read more

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Madinat Shamal Series: Wooden Boats l Two wood carvers sit under a tent in the Al Zubarah desert land located on the north western coast of Qatar. They are making miniature model dhow boats – traditional and specific in style to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. These wooden vessels were often used for carrying goods around the Persian Gulf, South Asia and East Africa. Smaller dhows were used for pearling around the peninsula.Read more

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Sti Fatma Series: Flour Grinder l A local inhabitant of the Sti Fatma area in the Atlas Mountains shows me a traditional stone grinder used to make flour. Grains are tossed into the funnel shaped basket which ensures the right amount of grain falls onto the stone grinder. A handle is turned in a circular motion and grains are crushed to produce fresh flour.Read more

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Marrakech Series: Grands Taxis of Morocco l A woman hops into a grand taxi outside the Kasbah in Marrakech. Unlike the petit taxi, the grand taxi is not only useful for short trips across town, but also takes passengers on longer journeys to neighbouring cities and villages. They are often four-door Mercedes-Benz W123 sedans from the 70s and come in a washed out pastel kind of ochre colour. I am on route back from a trip to a small district inRead more

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Beqaa Lebanon Series: Street Fruit Market l July 2015 On the day of Eid Al Fitr, the local Muslim community of Beqaa Valley shop for fresh fruit and groceries for their first big lunchtime feast as Ramadan comes to an end. The market place is set up outside a mosque in a largely Christian area and mountainous region. Nearby is a highway leading from Beirut to Damascus. I am very near the Syrian border which has seen a few clashes inRead more