5 Talented Arab Female Photographers To Know
The Middle East’s arts, culture and creative scene is bubbling with tremendous talent, and has been for decades. Be it sculptures, style, or traditional art forms, it seems that photography is a medium that depicts the stories and voices of the region’s female creatives in their truest form.
Exploring social and political issues including gender, identity, equality and more, the Arab female gaze has seen a revival through the works of these Arab female photographers…
1. Huda Beydoun
Huda Beydoun is a Saudi artist and fashion photographer who had a career teaching children with autism before going on to explore her talents behind the lens of a camera. In 2013, she released a body of work entitled “Documenting The Undocumented,” which was a street photography series, that captured candid images of the lives of illegal immigrants in Saudi Arabia.
Her work gained the attention of the likes of anonymous street artist, Banksy. Beydoun now runs her own creative agency in the kingdom, “MishMosh,” which aims to provide a platform for local talent as she wishes to “see women lead the fashion photography scene in the Middle East.”
2. Amber Asaly
Part Iraqi and part Syrian, Amber Asaly regularly photographs campaigns for brands such as Kappa and Puma, as well as snapping the likes of Emily Ratajkowski and the Kardashian family.
Her style of work looks to encapsulate a feminist narrative, as she says of her work, “I love to make women feel invincible and powerful. I generally shoot at a low angle to give the subject strength.”
3. Myriam Boulos
31-year-old Myriam Boulos was born towards the end of the Lebanese civil war, and growing up in a country that had to rebuild and reinvent itself, she became inspired to “use photography to explore, defy, and resist society.”
Her works have been featured in the likes of Time, Vogue and Vanity Fair, with her inspirations lying in the women around her.
4. Mashael Al Saie
Hailing from Bahrain, Mashael Al Saie’s photographic work explores the traditional cultural norms of the GCC, gender identity, amongst other social topics.
Al Saie is inspired by cultural norms that shape the female Arab identity and how it is these narratives that have “shaped the psyche of the Arab woman.”
5. Malak Kabbani
Malak Kabbani has a dual heritage – with her mother being German and her father, Egyptian, she was born in Cairo, and later moved to London to study fine art at the prestigious Central Saint Martins.
With her subject matters being people, Malak often shoots fashion, portraits and documentaries – and is currently working alongside world famous photographer, David Bailey as an assistant. She also believes there is much Middle Eastern talent to be discovered within the niche of Arab female photographers.