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Middle East Archive: An Archive of Love

Middle East Archive: An Archive of Love

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 This book is a sincere visual exploration and celebration of love in the Middle East and North Africa. The candor of street photography proves to be essential when dealing with love: a theme that is often reduced to a westernized one-size-fits-all or an orientalist wet dream. These photographs are captured when the lens searches beyond the unrest for manifestations of love in all its forms on the streets of the MENA region: the subtle, the indiscreet, the romantic, the platonic, the spiritual, the paternal, and the fraternal. 

The book includes photographs taken between late 1960s up to early 2022, in Morocco, Algeria, Iraq, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Oman, Yemen, UAE, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Kurdistan, and other countries in the region, by a wide range of  photographers including some of our favourites, Attar Abbas, Raymond Depardon, Rachid Ouettassi and many more. 


Middle East Archive is a creative archive that retrieves lost memories from the Middle East and Maghreb. With a vivid curatorial eye, it attempts to bring forward everyday memories that immerse one within the locally lived cultures. With particular attention to candid moments, banal interactions and simplicity, it brings forward the essence of MENA.

With photography as its principle medium, MEA collaborates with photographers and leads a rebirth to their archival collections. Thanks to a diversity of styles, perspectives, subject matters and a multitude of creatives that contribute to bringing this vision to life, MEA has space to constantly flourish in its times.

The archive’s practice goes beyond recollecting images as it adds life to what is portrayed as conflictual and inherently political. Through mixed media forms, and by excavating the web, MEA doesn’t limit itself to traditional and old documentations of the region, but explores a multitude of contemporary expressions, bringing the focus to where it should be. This digital collecting process is a new media from of archiving, making accessible already exciting artifacts that have been lost in time.

Title: An Archive of Love
Publisher: Middle East Archive, 2023
Photographers: Various
Curator: Romaisa Baddar
Editors: Nour Regaya, Dalia Al-Dujaili, translations by Mourad Nousair
Graphic Design: Omar Houssrey, concept by Daleen Saah
Format: Hardcover
Size: 27 x 21 cm, 114 pages

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