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A Saudi Photographer Took Pictures Of Women In Abayas To Capture Their Individuality

Nouf Alhimiary's photos depict women in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from different walks of life, all dressed in the traditional abaya.

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This is Saudi artist, Nouf Alhimiary.

Nouf Alhimiary

Her photo series “What She Wore” depicts women in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from different walks of life, dressed in the traditional abaya.

www.noufling.com/project/whatshewore
www.noufling.com/project/whatshewore

“I wanted to create a photo essay of something integral to my life, but had always been invisible,” she said.

www.noufling.com/project/whatshewore
www.noufling.com/project/whatshewore

Alhimiary began by taking pictures of herself in her abaya at college.

www.noufling.com/project/whatshewore
www.noufling.com/project/whatshewore

Soon enough, she started including her friends, faculty and eventually started asking women in public to pose for her pictures.

www.noufling.com/project/whatshewore
www.noufling.com/project/whatshewore

"The women in the photos were generous enough to participate. But it was complicated to find those who are willing to participate as our society is one that values its privacy," she continued.

www.noufling.com/project/whatshewore
www.noufling.com/project/whatshewore

For Alhimiary, the photo project was an exploration of individuality among Saudi Arabian women.

www.noufling.com/project/whatshewore
www.noufling.com/project/whatshewore

On her website, she explains, “Something that many noted in the opening was how all these women from afar looked like the same person, which could make you also wonder why we’re prohibited from showcasing our sense of individuality.”

"I wanted to highlight the differences that we individually choose rather than the similarities that the society imposes upon us," she explained.

www.noufling.com/project/whatshewore
www.noufling.com/project/whatshewore

You can follow her work on her website and Instagram.