Picture of an Arab Man
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
“I, a Jew” appeared in the April 1934 issue of the Buenos Aires magazine Megáfono. It is among the least known essays by Jorge Luis Borges, who saw it as an orphan piece, never collecting it in Other Inquisitions or any of his nonfiction volumes. It has always been available in Spanish in one form or another; before Weinberger included it in his Selected Non-Fiction, it surfaced briefly in English in an American anthology published by E.P. Dutton called Borges: A Reader (1981), edited by Emir Rodríguez Monegal and Thomas Colchie. The essay continues:
Who has not, at one point or another, played with thoughts of his ancestors, with the prehistory of his flesh and blood? I have done so many times, and many times it has not displeased me to think of myself as Jewish. It is an idle hypothesis, a frugal and sedentary adventure that harms no one, not even the name of Israel, as my Judaism is wordless, like the songs of Mendelssohn. The magazine Crisol [Crucible], in its issue of January 30, has decided to gratify this retrospective hope; it speaks of my “Jewish ancestry, maliciously hidden” (the participle and the adverb amaze and delight me).Borges reacted with enviable concentration, even stalwart conviction, to an accusation, made in 1934 by the magazine Crisol, that he was indeed a Jew. The accusation came from an anti-Semitic faction of the Argentine intelligentsia and had as its objective to discredit Borges in public opinion. He, in turn, took the accusation as a compliment.