In celebration of International Women’s Day, we highlight some of the Arab female photographers that collaborate on a regular basis with Vogue Arabia, and help us in offering an authentic and female-first view of the region.
Born in Cairo to a German mother and Egyptian father, Malak Kabbani moved to London at 17 to study fine arts at Central Saint Martins. She believes in being “honest” and having “soul” in her work, which makes her “connect with whoever she’s shooting, even if it’s a moment on the street.” Keen on photographing people, Kabbani primarily shoots portraits, fashion, and documentaries and currently works with internationally renowned photographer David Bailey as an assistant and retoucher.
Egyptian photographer Amina Zaher gave up her corporate job of eight years to pursue her dream in photography by enrolling in New York Film Academy in 2014. The former regional project manager for industry giants like Microsoft and Danone held her first-ever camera, a Sony Handy Man, in 2005 and never looked back. Born and raised in the capital city of Cairo, Zaher’s work has been published in magazines from around the world including Vogue.
Lebanese photographer Sandra Chidiac got her first camera when she was 17, working part-time as a model. After studying in Paris, she turned her hobby full-time – and shot her first-ever cover for Vogue Arabia’s June 2020 issue.
Oumayma Ben Tanfous
After relocating to Montreal from her native Tunis, Tunisia, at the age of 10, photography quickly became a means of creative expression for Oumayma Ben Tanfous, who shot MENA-heritage creatives in New York for Vogue Arabia’s March 2021 issue. “This project was quite challenging because we had to deal with cold weather, crazy snowstorms, and driving all around New York City,” she shares. “Thankfully everything went smoothly. It was fun to meet all these womxn and discover their environments.”
Based in Riyadh, Hayat Osamah taught herself photography, and shares about her cover shoot with Vogue Arabia from December 2020: “What I enjoyed most was the element of documenting the past through this new generation.”
Myriam Boulos was born in 1992, at the tail end of the Lebanese civil war “in a fragmented country that had to reinvent itself.” This volatile political and personal landscape that Boulos grew up in has led her to “use photography to explore, defy, and resist society,” with her images being published in Vogue, Time, and Vanity Fair.
Kuwaiti-French art director Djinane AlSuwayeh has photographed multiple shoots for Vogue Arabia, with the most notable being one of the cover stars for our February 2021 issue celebrating GCC unity. “I love cross-pollinating,” said AlSuwayeh about shooting HH Sheikha Intisar Salem Al Ali Alsabah. “This experience of embodying unity in concept and in practice, with the reader, the Vogue team, my team, and the five other photographers felt like I was holding hands with the world. Sheikha Intisar is the epitome of gentleness, empowerment, and an authentic body of love. A beautiful person to unite with.”