What do you hope to achieve?
I have no idea. It’s one of those things I just need to create and then see what happens. There’s a fanous quote in photography that goes “Photographers are hunters, not cooks”. Basically that they get the shot and the rest is left for the world to decipher. But I would say, that at least deep down in the concept of this project and its message, is to show the world that not only is the Arabic language a beautiful art form but that this project is also my own personal peering into the demographic of this younger Arab generation that in some way, rebels against Islamic and cultural traditions by getting a tattoo, yet then assimilates that heritage and prideful history by permanently displaying it on their bodies. The complexity of my subjects mirrors the complexity of the region and I think, that in the end, I want the world to connect with my subjects with the tattoo being the bridge.
Why are you doing this?
This is the first long-term project I am undertaking. When I was walking the streets in Mar Mikael in Beirut when I conceived this project, it was a moment in my career where I had realised I spent too much time doing commercial and advertising work and was needing something to do for myself. Something I cared about and that has always intrigued me.