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Arts & Culture Center at the MEI Gallery : Louder Than Hearts : Women Photographers from the Arab World and Iran


Photographer Rania Matar is the curator of the exhibition Louder Than Hearts: Women Photographers from the Arab World and Iran shown at the Middle East Institute in Washington. This is how it is presented:

 Louder Than Hearts features the work of ten women artists from the Arab World and Iran who capture the resilience, strength, beauty, and creativity of women in the region, often in the face of great adversity.

The Egyptian, Iranian, Jordanian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Saudi, and Yemeni photographers represented in the show explore the diversity of experiences and personal narratives told by women across a vast geographic area. Each project showcased is deeply personal, each story distinct. Yet together, these works underscore the shared humanity of women, weaving together the threads of personal and collective life experiences while providing insights into the artists’ perspectives and realities, as well as their strengths and vulnerabilities.

Iranian women dye their hair shades of purple and blue in defiance of the state; Lebanese women stand tall in the midst of their country’s political chaos and destruction; Egyptian women grapple with the challenges of single motherhood as well as body image and the countless societal pressures and expectations that accompany it. Through their work, the artists weave together the threads of their protagonists’ collective life experiences, amplifying the role of women as voices of strength, courage, and hope.

Participating artists: Rehaf Al Batniji (Gaza), Tasneem Alsultan (Saudi Arabia), Thana Faroq (Yemen/Netherlands), Tanya Habjouqa (Jordan/US), Shiva Khademi (Iran), Heba Khalifa (Egypt), Safaa Khatib (Palestine), Rania Matar (Lebanon/US), Newsha Tavakolian (Iran), Carmen Yahchouchi (Lebanon).

The title is adopted from a poetry book on love and loss by Lebanese poet Zeina Hashem Beck. The exhibition is presented in partnership with Tribe Magazine.


Louder Than Hearts : Women Photographers from the Arab World and Iran
May 9 – October 4, 2024
Opening reception: May 9, 5:30 – 8 PM
Middle East Institute
1763 N St. NW
Washington D.C. 20036

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