In April of 2013 I set foot in the Middle East for the very first time. It is hard for me to try to think back on what I knew about the region before I came, because I don't think I knew much. I suppose I knew what a typical American knows. What we see in the news. What we see depicted about the region in films and t.v. shows that capitalize on fear and fascination. The images of women wailing, the images of repression and chaos and war.
I wanted to know what life was really like for women, especially young women who were navigating through the time in their lives when they were deciding what they wanted to do and to be. Women of the younger generations who would shape the future of their countries, who represented the more modern Middle East. I wanted to meet them and to create a different visual dialogue about the reality of the region. About the complete diversity that exists there.
I did fear the region, to be honest, but also I was greatly intrigued by it. I knew there had to be more to the story, that there was a lot of life existing outside of the realm of imagery that we in the West are often fed. I wanted to go and see what that life looked like. What surprised me was that everywhere I went, I found women I completely related to, women who have become my good friends. Women who share my hopes and dreams and struggles. Women who want to do something with their life.
This site is the visual side of that journey. I have traveled through Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Kuwait, the UAE, and Afghanistan collecting these stories. I hope they may be able to provide a supplementary conversation that may help to flesh out the reality of all sides of life in the Middle East.
Hope you enjoy the journey as I have.