Photojournalist Offers Glimpses into the Muslim World

Veteran photojournalist Alexandra Avakian has spent much of her twenty-plus year career working for prestigious magazines like Time and National Geographic and newspapers like The NY Times. Much of her work has been focused on the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Northern Africa. Stints in Iran, Somalia, Gaza and amongst American Muslims has given her ample opportunity to photograph the adherents of Islam in many different settings, both religious and cultural. A sampling of some of her best work is coming out in a photo-book published by Nat Geo. It is titled Windows of the Soul: My Journeys in the Muslim World. Avakian has also started a blog, which has the same title as her book, on National Geographic’s web site. The blog is an interesting introduction to her work. Avakian reminisces about things like visiting a movie set in Iran and learning how the country’s leading actress got around the strict theocratic laws by donning wigs and being hush-hush while applying make-up. While Avakian has by no means produced a definitive work on Muslims (I don’t think that was her goal), she offers a unique and human take on a culture that is often in the press, but not usually seen in-depth.

[Via American Photo’s State of the Art]