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Queen of Shiba

Yemen is a challenging place for women to excel in their career. My subject matter documents
women who socially are not allowed to show their faces in photographs. Because of this, viewers
will find the women photographed stripped of their identities, yet still they maintain a feminine
power through character, beauty and intelligence. They are the daughters of the legendary queen
of Sheba. I used a self developed technique that while focusing on aesthetics also expresses the
underlying struggles of the model. The technique is a combination of photography and hand
painting. Throughout my time documenting these women I was filled with a sense of despair
because of the deteriorating conditions against women socially, politically and culturally. During
every photoshoot there was a fear of taking the photo, fear of tradition and fear of religion for
both the model and myself. I always had mixed emotions, but what I wanted the most was for us
to get over all fear and become strong powerful women. Yemen is a challenging place but
Yemeni women are even more resilient. I have since sensed an awakening and a growing
feminine power within Yemen and the diaspora around the globe. I am inspired by these women
and I am honored to be contributing to the artistic liberation and expression of the Yemeni Woman. 

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