Started in 2009, the portrait series "Picture an Arab Man" is part of a large body of work capturing semi-nude Arab men of diverse backgrounds. The project is meant to literally picture a new face for Arab males than the one we are so accustomed to perusing in the mainstream media. Breaking down stereotypes as to how Arabs have been represented in the West, as well as in the East, is one of the conceptual aims of this project. I attempt to do so by highlighting the sensual beauty of the Arab man, an unexplored aspect of their identity on the cusp of change in a society that reveres an out-dated form of hyper-masculinity. Moreover, it is an attempt to uncover and break the stereotypes imposed on the Arab male in a post 9/11 world, and provide an alternative visual representation of that identity.
Thus far, I have photographed men in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Dubai, Palestine and Canada. They have been Iraqi, Syrian, Palestinian, Lebanese, Egyptian, Sudanese, Emirati, Jordanian, and of mixed heritage. My plan is nowto photograph men from the remaining countries of the Middle Eastto truly represent the diversity of the Arab region. Receiving funding to complete the production of the project will also get me one step closer to my ultimate goal, which is to publish this project as a book. The funds that I am requesting will go toward covering my transportation and accommodation, and for printing of prototypes of the book.
Through "Picture an Arab Man", I strive to do what I can to redefine the image of the Arab man for an audience so accustomed to one-dimensional stereotypes. Most importantly, I hope to properly represent my subjects as diverse and candid men whose only thing in common is their rich Middle Eastern heritage.
Thank you for your support.
Tamara Abdul Hadi
Photographer Buy Access