Sunday June 21, 2020
Capturing and sharing the world’s beauty and cultures became Amira Ihab’s new found purpose in life after discovering her passion in exploring new cultures and destinations in 2016. Since then, the travel photographer and Co-Founder of Middle East Art and Design invested all her time and effort to document whatever inspired her by capturing those special moments. The inherent thrill she felt, when coming across something beautiful and her urge to share it with the people she most cherished, is what inspired her most.
Traveling allowed her to grow as well as changed her overall perceptions on life. Most importantly, it made her appreciate the little things. Traveling has changed her overall perspective about life and its inherent possibilities. “Exploring other cultures makes you realize the tiny place you occupy in the world,” and this is the impression she wishes to convey through her photography. She deliberately shows the vast magnitude of the landscape in comparison to the minuscule size of the featured subject. This perspective as well as her desire to explore unconventional places and stories is what lends a uniquely surreal feeling to each of her photographs.
Amira worked on several tourism projects for Egypt with brands like Nokia Mobile as well as the ministry of tourism of Egypt creating content for the Egyptian tourism board with other international photographers. She has managed to visit thirty-seven countries (mostly solo travels) as well as eighty-seven cities over the course of a few years. “Beauty and inspiration is all around us and one does not need to go far to find new experiences. Egypt has hidden gems that need to be explored, hopefully after the world gets better,” she says.
“I go out of my way to immerse myself in its cultures and traditions – trying to capture their neglected stories. I have learned so much from the people whom I’ve lived and shared moments with during my travels. Self-development, creativity, and people’s stories are what keeps me going,” she explains.
The experience she gained from traveling was channeled into developing her concept project “196stamps” – which is an allusion to the 196 countries of the world as well as an insight into her personal dream of traveling the world solo as an Arab woman. In the Arab world, because of societal pressure and cultural traditions, it is difficult to be a woman who travels frequently alone. Amira wishes that her pictures as well as her story can serve as an example to other women who face such obstacles.
It is this constant balance between societal expectations and her individuality as a woman that drives her work and has led to the creation of an online platform for Art and Design. M.E.A.D.’s (Middle East Art and Design) goal is to highlight the intersections that exist between art, history, society, and culture. The platform helps artists in the region get the recognition and support they need, while also contributing to the establishment of more spaces for the study and creation of art.
Don’t forget to visit Amira Ihab’s website and Instagram
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Oh, wow! Amira’s photographs are stunning. Good luck to her with “196 stamps.”