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Documentary photographer and visual storyteller based in Cairo, Egypt. My creative practice focuses on the broad theme of identity, using collaborative approaches to involve the featured individuals or communities. I’m keen on using my personal background as creative motivation. I’m a hijabi and North African woman who lived in the US during 9/11 and experienced the rising xenophobia. I’m an active participant in the Jan25 Egyptian revolution and living the current oppressive backfire, I'm a social advocate to native Bedouin community rights in Sinai and I’m a licensed scuba diver and an experienced desert and mountain trekker. I’m drawn to topics that challenge linear identities and oriental ideologies.
Current work: I’m working on two personal projects: The Longing Of The Stranger Whose Path Has Been Broken : a personal project on belonging that involves depicting a contemporary portrayal of the Bedouin community in Sinai, Egypt by collaborating with various members in the community itself. and Roots Guide: Stories of the Netherlands:
An interactive multidisciplinary guidebook of the Netherlands by migrants. Composed of 40+ visual in-depth stories of individuals of various migration backgrounds living across the country. The project has been awarded 2019 National Geographic explorer grant and is planned to be published mid 2020. Collaborating with four partners in writing, design and curation my role consists of being the visual storyteller and co-concept developer.
Experience & Education: Working professionally in documentary photography since 2014, my focus has led to collaborations with NGOs such as UNICEF and Drosos Foundation. I hold a BA in still photography and cinematography (2011) from faculty of Applied Arts, Egypt and currently pursuing my Photography MA (2018-2020) long distance learning at Falmouth University, UK. I’m co-author of The Road to Tahrir; a best seller photography book that documents the Egyptian Jan25 revolution 2011. And resulting from a photo-project I co-founded Catherine Exists; a volunteer-based initiative that empowers Bedouin communities in South Sinai.
As a trainer since 2009, working in the private sector and at the American University in Cairo. I provide technical and community workshops to foster dialogue and self expression within communities in conflict. Collaborating with CRS, I’ve conducted workshops in rural villages in Egypt bringing Muslim and Coptic communities in one room for the first time in history to connect through photography and storytelling. I also volunteer in refugee centres in The Netherlands where I conduct similar workshops for new comers waiting for status approval.
Finally, I'm Native, Women Photograph and APJD member.