5 Instagram accounts that show what life in Iraq is really like

Since 2003, most of the stories and images coming out of Iraq have been of the devastation and despair caused by the conflict and violence that has plagued the country’s recent history. Yet Mesopotamia – modern-day Iraq – is believed to have been home to the world’s oldest civilisation, and the region flourished for years … Continue reading 5 Instagram accounts that show what life in Iraq is really like

Leena Al Ayoobi – The Bahraini artist recreating the image of women in the Gulf

Contrary to common stereotypes, there was a time when bright colours reigned in the Arabian Peninsula, before the black abaya became fashionable. Self-taught Bahraini artist Leena Al Ayoobi takes us back to these roots in her paintings, portraying beautifully the vibrancy of Arabic culture and highlighting the diversity and individuality of Arab women that is … Continue reading Leena Al Ayoobi – The Bahraini artist recreating the image of women in the Gulf

Art as a means of recovery for the Yezidi women who escaped ISIL

Last summer, the Yezidis of northern Iraq marked the third anniversary of the attempted genocide of their people by the so-called Islamic State (ISIL). In August 2014, ISIL rampaged through their villages in Iraqi Kurdistan, killing the men en masse and taking the women and girls as slaves. These women and girls bore unimaginable suffering, … Continue reading Art as a means of recovery for the Yezidi women who escaped ISIL

Shift – 3 female Saudi artists reflect on their changing culture in a London exhibition

Since the discovery of oil in the 1930s, life in Saudi Arabia has changed beyond recognition. What was once a traditional subsistence economy has become the linchpin of the global energy industry. Oil revenues have translated over the years into massive government spending, with gleaming new cities shooting up in place of previously modest, sleepy … Continue reading Shift – 3 female Saudi artists reflect on their changing culture in a London exhibition

Amal Al Raisi – The fashion designer taking Khaleeji style to the runways of Paris and Torino

Omani business graduate Amal Al Raisi found a career in fashion totally by accident while working for a government ministry in Muscat. After searching for a wedding dress and becoming frustrated at the lack of choice, she decided to design her own. The dress was so popular that she began designing for her family and … Continue reading Amal Al Raisi – The fashion designer taking Khaleeji style to the runways of Paris and Torino

4 photographers who will change your perception of Iran

An air of mystery seems to shroud the Islamic Republic of Iran. The country has frequently been the subject of negative press, which highlights tense relations with the West and other Middle Eastern countries, dubious links with militant groups in Syria and Iraq, and reports of human rights abuses in the country. Simply put, in … Continue reading 4 photographers who will change your perception of Iran