"Algeria Lives" by Thomas Hartwell
Due to a long history of strife in Algeria , the most common image of the country portrayed in the world’s media and etched in the minds of most outsiders has been one of a vast desert country ravaged by violence, suffering and despair. The brutal 130 years of French colonial occupation, the bloody struggle for independence that ended in 1962, and the 10-year civil war that began in earnest in 1993 when the government cancelled elections after facing the possibility of a sweeping FIS victory, have all resulted in stark visual images from Algeria. Read More >>
"Ground Zero: 9/11/01" by Lucie Pavlovich
In September 2001 I was on a photo shoot in New York, and on the night of the tenth I celebrated my birthday. I was awoken the following morning at about nine o’clock by the screaming outside. Looking out the window I saw people and cars pouring through the street in an apparent state of shock and panic all going in the same direction, uptown. Every channel on television was covering the incredible news of planes hitting the World Trade Center and the Pentagon almost simultaneously. Soon the first terrible images were being broadcast as the media began getting footage of the attacks. Grabbing my camera and bag of film I headed downtown on foot; there was no other means of transportation. Read More >>
“Cairo, Whatever I saw before my eyes saw you was a wasted life” by Robert Azzi
The photographer Walter Chappell referred to
the term “camera vision as a responsive property of the human mind prehistoric to the invention of the photographic process.” Camera vision is a bridge to the realization of our inner realities.
The sufi master Jalaluddin Rumi spoke of the inner reality of everyday
life; the sound of thunder, the flowers, snow, all of nature, as having
a hidden meaning that lies beneath its surface. For the artist this is
a process of seeing through one’s inner being into a world of continuous impressions, and being present in a moment of active awareness recorded by the camera, or several individual moments of awareness experienced in painting. Read More >>
“Fragrance from the Sufi Garden” by Shems Friedlander
I first arrived in Cairo on a grey damp day during the winter of 1969 / 70. A Lebanese friend gave me a ticket for an Um Kalthoum concert to be held, on the first Thursday of the month, as usual, at the Kasr El Nile Theatre. I had heard about Um Kalthoum, but being relatively new to the Middle East, any emotional exposure was non-existent.
I was young, and rather timid in those days. Born in the United States, I was limited in my ability to speak Arabic, unfamiliar with the culture and sensitivities of the Arab Street and unsure of my ability to both absorb and communicate my love for the Arab World, a world that was part of me. Read More >>
“Blue Nile: From Lake Tana to Debre Markos” by Mireia Cano
In December of 2005 The Fables of the Nile expedition set off by foot to follow a historical river journey: the Blue Nile from Ethiopia to Sudan and on to Egypt. I joined the walk for the first leg of the journey: from Lake Tana to Debre Markos, in the scenic Amharic highlands of Ethiopia, in order to document the livelihoods of the people living by the river, a largely unexplored region of the world. Stereotypical ideas of Ethiopia as a famine-ravaged country full of dreaded shifta (bandits) rapidly gave way to images of breathtaking scenery and unmatchable hospitality.
The walk started at Lake Tana, the hydrological source of the Blue Nile, or as the locals call it the Abbai. The lake is surrounded by 15 th century Orthodox monasteries displaying vivid religious images. Read more >>
"Searching for Unity" A Group Exhibit of Photographs
I have always believed that students need to actively engage the topics they are studying in order to fully understand the immense complexity inherent within the political and cultural landscape of this region. Young Arab activists likewise need to be able to interact with and engage their comrades/adversaries in other countries in order to be truly effective in provoking social change in their own home environment.
As an activist myself and a student of social movements for most of my life, I wanted to provide an opportunity for students and activists from Egypt and abroad to not only witness historical events as they unfold but to also get the chance to speak to the actors on the ground either in government or in civil society who are effecting the political landscapes of their countries, the Middle East, and consequently the world. Read more >>
"Wired: 20 Years in Photojournalism" by Aladin Abdel Naby
After spending nearly half of my life as a photojournalist, working for Reuters News Agency, I would like to share my thoughts and experiences, hoping they will be of help to others interested in this profession.
A photojournalist's job, especially one working for a wire service, is one of the most tense and frustrating professions on the face of this earth. Most of the time, the work is done under duress and in extreme hideous conditions. The photojournalist under continuous stress must still, "get the picture," and "meet the deadline," while all the while being concerned about safety.
The job becomes more intense when the photographer is also fully responsible for all the information about the assignment; this is when the assignment becomes a personal nightmare. Read More >>
Metamorphoses by Dale J. Osborn and Kamil Voděra
In the shadows of the well known monuments and behind the fences of the seaside resorts, one can find the Egypt which will remain unseen by most of the regular visitors to this country. It is the Egypt of serene palm groves and meticulously irrigated fields which are the oases of the traditional way of life. This is the Egypt found in the narrow winding streets of Old Cairo, in the coffeehouses devoid of tourists; and in the deserts and inhospitable mountains where a water spring is a treasure and any vegetation a coveted miracle. However, this “traditional” Egypt finds it hard to resist the promises and aggressive expansion of urban development and is disappearing at an ever increasing pace. Read More >>
"The Classic Photographs" by Ara Güler
Ara Güler’s images are like a Turkish “Family of Man,” where one feels the perspiration of a dockhand, the love of a mother, the wind created by the flight of birds on the Golden Horn, or the captured stillness of a sacred space.
Güler has traveled extensively around the world; his images recording everything from the marketplace in Karachi, workers in Bangladesh, the vivid colors of India, the tension of the Sudan-Ethiopian border to the somber interior of an ancient tomb in Egypt. His passport became a geography lesson, and his photographs are like Hemingway’s notebook, filled with visual notations of mankind. More >>
"The Shape of Light" by Reem Al Faisal
From the softness of a misty morning on a lake in China, to the luminosity of the minarets at the Prophet’s Mosque in Medinah Medina, the sound of rippling water in Japan, the call to prayer in a small wooden mosque in Pennsylvania, the words of the Qur’an penetrating the heart’s of believers in Mecca…all of this creates a translucent quality, like m, the sound of rippling water in Japan, the call to prayer in a small wooden mosque in Pennsylvania, the words of the Qur’ran permeating the hearts of believers in Mecca…all of this creates a translucent quality, like moonlight in a desert night, within the photographs of Reem Al Faisal. Herthe photographs of Reem Al Faisal touch the senses and share with the viewer the very essence of the shape of light. More >>
"River Man" by John Feeney
Strange, indeed, are the ways of fate and the tricks it can play upon us. One day, more than forty years ago, while making an Inuit film in the Canadian Eastern Arctic, just beneath the Arctic Circle, on a day too wild for us to continue our filming, I found an old tattered magazine and began reading about the Mountains of the Moon in faraway Africa—a strange vision to behold amid the frozen sea and glaciers of Pangnirtung fiord. More >>