2015 - Ongoing
My project, saudi love stories, began as a personal venture. With my marriage at the age of 17, and being a mother of two children at the age of 21, I knew I would surface in some way as a character exploring concepts of love and marriage in Saudi. But my teenage diary seemed to be a redline that I resisted bringing into the story. For the last 12 years, I blamed my marriage on my parents. I repeatedly questioned how they allowed me to marry at the age of 17, and why they never supported my need for a divorce later on. They had always argued that they never encouraged me to marry that young, and that their objecting the divorce was for the sake of the kids. I didn't understand them. I saw myself as being alone. But I was inspired by the empowered cross section of Saudi women who opened up their lives to me, and I finally faced my diary. So out came my dairies of the age of ten, and sixteen. Funny enough, I wrote in that personal journal till a few weeks before my marriage. I wrote how worried my parents were. And how my father was very skeptical of this young man. I was sixteen when my ex-husband proposed, and my pages were filled with stories of my teenage angst against my mother. I saw how I used the escape of her motherly love, as an escape to the arms of a man I didn't know...Hence, I wanted to be Shahrazad in a 1001 Arabian nights. A story teller of other misfortunes and romantic endings. I followed the stories of a widow, a happy marriage, twice divorced, and that of a young child—to name a few. I also delved into the many gems I shot from my wedding photography business in Saudi (with permission from my clients). I see the irony in being a divorced wedding photographer. But nevertheless, it was through these stories and from reading my own diary, that the project as a whole, gave me a sense of closure.