The Middle East Institute (MEI) Arts and Culture Center Presents More Than Your Eyes Can See: Contemporary Photography from the Arab World

By Editorial Team on June 6, 2022

Mon, 06 June 2022 - Fri, 21 October 2022

Farah Foudeh
Just Because I Cry Doesn’t Mean I Am Strong
series, Amman, Jordan, 2018 – Ongoing
44 x 30 in.
Courtesy of the artist

The Middle East Institute (MEI) Arts and Culture Center, in partnership with Tribe magazine, is proud to announce the opening of More Than Your Eyes Can See: Contemporary Photography from the Arab World on Friday, June 3, 2022. The exhibition opening will take place at the MEI Art Gallery at 1763 N Street NW, Washington, DC and is among the openings, talks and festivities marking the launch of Focus on the Story, a month-long celebration of photography in the nation’s capital.

Curated by Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah, More Than Your Eyes Can See features the work of 15 photographers representing nearly a dozen countries from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Using genres that include fine art photography, photojournalism and portraiture, the artists bring a highly personal and unconventional perspective on the MENA region, and in the process take viewers to new and unexpected places.

By exploring a diverse range of issues from the devastation of climate change on communities in countries like Morocco and Tunisia to the private spaces in Palestine where the LGBTQ community feels safe to express itself, the exhibition sheds light on the daily lived experiences of men and women in the Middle East today.

“The photographers featured in this exhibition are introducing a new kind of visual language, one that is highly intimate and personal, yet touches on both local and global issues. I am excited for audiences to see the Arab world through their work and hope they walk away with a new outlook or discovering something new,” said curator Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah.

The show marks the inaugural exhibit organized by MEI in partnership with Tribe magazine, a non-profit publication and platform focused on documenting photography, film and video from the Arab world.

Tribe co-founder and photo editor Sueraya Shaheen said, “This exhibition at MEI is a testament to the talent emerging from the region. Tribe is not only a magazine but a platform providing opportunities to amplify their voices, and support the important role photographers play today in documenting societies facing profound social, political and environmental challenges. It’s great to see the work off the pages and on the walls in Washington, DC.

“MEI’s Arts and Culture Center is delighted to be partnering with Tribe magazine to bring this special exhibition to DC audiences,” added Lyne Sneige, director of the Arts and Culture Center at the Middle East Institute. “The courageous, powerful and beautiful work in the show speaks not only to the incredible talent of the photographers, but also to the power of the arts to communicate urgent social, environmental and socio-economic issues.”

The featured artists are: Mohammad Alfaraj, Eman Ali, Amr Attamimi, Zied Ben Romdhane, Imane Djamil, Farah Foudeh, Rula Halawani, Yasmine Hatimi, Samar Hazboun, Amir Hazim, M’hammed Kilito, Seif Kousmate, Fethi Sahraoui, Najla Said, and Ismail Zaidy.

About the Middle East Institute’s Arts and Culture Center
The center facilitates cross-cultural understanding through exhibitions and cultural programming, including panel talks, film screenings, readings and performances that underscore the role of the arts in the Middle East. Founded in September 2019, the MEI Art Gallery serves as the Center’s anchor. It promotes the work of Middle Eastern artists by exhibiting socially engaged art from the region and serves as a platform for diverse communities to begin a cross cultural dialogue around the power of the arts to transcend difference and to drive social change globally. Our gallery is D.C. ‘s only dedicated to contemporary and modern art from the Middle East.

The Middle East Institute was founded in 1946 to promote knowledge and understanding of the region among U.S. citizens and to advance ties between the peoples of the two regions. Alongside our Arts and Culture Center, MEI also houses a Policy Institute, a source for non-partisan expert analysis seeking solutions to the region’s most challenging issues, and an Education Center, offering classes, academic resources, and professional development services to foster regional understanding. Our centers reflect our dedication to promoting understanding of the region through a wider lens.

The exhibit opens for general timed visits and online viewing on Monday, June 6, 2022. The exhibit is up through October 21, 2022 and can be visited via timed appointments at the MEI Art Gallery at 1763 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036 and online. For more information visit:

Join the conversation with @meiartsculture on Twitter and @middleeastinst on Instagram using the hashtag #MEIArtGallery

MEI Art Gallery at 1763 N Street NW.