The Immigrant I "Self Portrait"
After hearing Trump promise to ban Muslim immigration to the U.S. during his presidential
campaign in 2016, I did something I once considered unthinkable: I took a self-portrait, wearing clothes and accessories I brought from Yemen that belonged to my mother.
It was the first of a series of nine self-portraits called “The Immigrant,” which documents the experience of being an immigrant living in the U.S. The images presented reflect what women would have looked like during the first waves of Middle Eastern migration into the United States in the late 1800’s, while many migrants today may not come fully dressed in traditional attire, it is easy to feel as though we are, even after years of living in the US.
I hope for this photo series to serve as a reminder of the roots and cultural heritage of Arab Americans but also, as an educational piece for non-Arab Americans, an image that displays something different yet humanizes the subject.