Women Photographers in the Middle East (NG Revisited)

Bedouin woman, south of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; by Jodi Cobb, whose photos were featured in the National Geographic article, "Women of Saudi Arabia."

While photographing the recent revolt in Libya Lynsey Addario was captured and later released, along with three other journalists; their story was recounted in the New York Times. Addario discussed the benefits and drawbacks of being a woman photographer in places of conflict in the New York Times “Lens” blog; Addario says in the interview, “If a woman wants to be a war photographer, she should. It’s important. Women offer a different perspective. We have access to women on a different level than men have, just as male photographers have a different relationship with the men they’re covering.” Addario recently contributed powerful photographs of Afghan women in a National Geographic feature article, Veiled Rebellion. View her photo gallery and the up-close and personal look behind the veil.

Another woman photographer who provided perspective in the Middle East was Alexandra Boulat, who photographed daily life in Iraq before and after the U.S. invasion. Her diary recounts her day-to-day experience, and photos show scenes including a young girl’s body being prepared for burial, and U.S. troops at Saddam Hussein’s palace. Boulat died of a brain aneurysm in 2007 and her friend and fellow photographer, Alexandra Avakian, wrote a tribute. Avakian’s photos have been featured in National Geographic magazine articles on Gaza and Iran. National Geographic also published a book of her photography: Windows of the Soul: My Journeys in the Muslim World, in 2008. View photo galleries by, and biographies about, professional photographers who bring their unique perspectives to a region in turmoil.

  • Lynsey Addario biography; photo gallery from “Veiled Rebellion: Afghan Women,” December, 2010. National Geographic magazine.
  • Alexandra Avakian biography; photo gallery from her book, Windows of the Soul: My Journeys in the Muslim World, 2008; short video of Avakian telling the story behind the photos at a NGLive presentation.
  • Alexandra Boulat biography; National Geographic magazine articles on Baghdad before and after the U.S. invasion: photo gallery and text from Baghdad Before the Bombs, June 2003, and photo gallery and text from “Diary of a War,” September 2003.
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