Sunday October 1st, 2023
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Arab Image Foundation Releases Online Archive of Over 600K Rare Vintage Photos From Egypt and MENA

From drag queens, personal family photographs, to pop icons, the collection is rather impressive.

Staff Writer

Beirut-based NGO, Arab Image Foundation, launched in 1997 as a unique initiative to collect and preserve rare and unseen photographs from the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the Arab Diaspora, amassing an astonishing collection of over 600 thousand photographs from across the region ever since.

The massive archive includes collections of negatives and prints from photographers and art collectors from everywhere in the region, even including personal collections donated by individuals and families. The reputable non-profit has held many exhibitions to engage artists and audiences from the Middle East with the unorthodox, often forgotten fragments of region's history, and have now taken a step further by launching their online archive, offering more than half a million rare photographs with one click of a button for the first time.

As one of the first countries to be touched by the advent of photography, collections from Egypt are sizable and unique, offering glimpses into the lives of ordinary people, artists, public performers, and even funeral procedures. Lebanon is another country with a rather impressive collection, showcasing life in the Levant before the onset of modern technology and 4K cameras.

All images courtesy of Arab Image Foundation.

Check out the full archive on Arab Image Foundation's website.