Nancy Khalil, Assistant Professor of American Culture and Executive Board member of the Global Islamic Studies Center, is the winner of the inaugural Association of Middle East Anthropology (AMEA) 2022 photography contest for her photos of contemporary Egypt. This award is granted for original, creative, and ethnographically significant photos which help us see the work and lives of people in the Middle East/North Africa.
In "Series ONE: Photos Economies of Sale 1 & 2," Dr. Khalil's "Loofah to Light" juxtaposes images of loofahs from one of Alexandria, Egypt's oldest markets, and from the Egyptian North Coast at a restaurant in the Marina in a UAE-developed gated, elite beachfront community called Marassi. Made from dried gourds, loofahs are considered effective and natural tools used by the wealthy and the underprivileged alike to exfoliate their skin. Surging from cents to dollars, the loofah is repurposed from the streets to the ceilings, illuminating the restaurant, the creativity of the interior designer, and the power of class and market in transforming the everyday object to art for the elite.
In "Series TWO: Photos Eid Morning in Egypt 3, 4, 5," titled "Eid Morning," three images show that in any summer morning in Dumyat, Egypt between 5am-6am, there is a hush in the streets, all businesses are closed, and almost all children are fast asleep. Except on Eid al-Fitr, concluding the holy month of Ramadan. On Eid morning, the streets are bustling with families dressed in fancy clothes, heading from prayers at the mosque to the markets on all modes of transportation to buy Eid toys and eat Eid treats together, pausing to watch balloons released after a long countdown to build Eid excitement and suspense.
See the announcement and the winning photos here: https://mideastanthro.com/about/awards/photocontest/.
Congratulations to Dr. Khalil on her achievement!