Skip to main content

Jordan pays homage to Palestinian 'Lady Photographer' with exhibit

In a neighborhood in Amman, a photography exhibition honors Karimeh Abbud, also known as the "Lady Photographer," who stood apart from her male contemporaries with her unique access to Palestinian women in their homes.
Read in 

One legacy of photographer Karimeh Abbud lies in the unique way she captured daily life in the 1920s and 1930s. Known as the “Lady Photographer,” she was the first known Palestinian or Arab women to have set up a photography studio catering to the public. Images depicting the lives and the era she saw through her lens are currently on view at Darat al Funun (House of the Arts) in the Jabal al-Webde neighborhood, in Amman. Self-titled, the show is the first comprehensive exhibition of photographs from the collection of Ahmad Mrowat that only came to light in 2006.

Abbud's photos are testimony to a slice of the 20th century, bearing witness to life in British Mandate Palestine and Lebanon. Unlike her contemporary male photographers, Abbud had access to the private lives of women. With such entree, she photographed Palestinian women from different classes inside their homes, some preferring traditional dress and others sporting more modern styles and occasionally professional attire, like a nurse’s uniform. Along with capturing the character of the women photographed, Abbud's lens also recorded interior lifestyles of the time, secondarily documenting furniture and interior design.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.