Windows into the world

Instagram favourites

A 1978 yearbook photo of a schoolgirl in Damascus. The kitschy, colourful artwork painted on the sides of water trucks. A man in an ironed dishdasha, speaking in a vintage phone. The roadside stall of a woman selling tea in Khartoum. A teenager selling balloons outside a well-visited mosque. Fighter jets, flying low over the Egyptian capital at sunset.

If following inspirational people, your Instagram feed can easily turn into a lovely aesthetic bombardment. Here are a bunch of such people, from cities across the Mashallah region.

Hossein Fatemi

Hossein Fatemi | hosseinfatemi | is a Tehran-based photographer who captures life in Iran in a beautiful way – whether in people’s homes, the empty countryside or in busy cities.

Abdulsalam AlAmri

Abdulsalam AlAmri |  abdulsalamalamri  | shares charming street shots from Riyadh and other places across Saudi Arabia (and elsewhere in the region). We recently did a feature of his photos, find it here.

Noha Zayed

Noha Zayed | nohazayed | has a beautiful eye and spends a lot of time in fantastic places. Always with her cute kiddo, often in Egypt, other times elsewhere.

David Habchy

David Habchy | davidhabchy | is a multi-creative Lebanese who takes pictures of lovely, ugly, charming and unexpected things.

Rana Jarbou

Rana Jarbou | r_jarbou | is the person to follow for anything related to street art and graffiti in the Arab world. She wrote the chapter about Bahrain in the book Arabic Graffiti and has written for Mashallah from Saudi Arabia.

Insiya Syed

Insiya Syed | insiyasyed | is a Karachi-based photojournalist who documents life in Pakistan with a big, loving heart.

Laura El-Tantawy

Laura El-Tantawy | laura_eltantawy | is another unique visual voice. Her photos from Egypt say more about the revolution than most articles and commentaries. Here’s a feature of her work that we did a while ago.

Ahmad Mahmoud

Ahmad Mahmoud | instgrahmad | is a Sudanese storyteller who spends his time between Khartoum and Nairobi. He captures people.

Ali Jabbar

Ali Jabbar | alsumayin | has an all black-and-white feed with shots from across the Gulf. The way he captures serenity, motion and stillness is beautiful.

Newsha Tavakolian

Newsha Tavakolian | newshatavakolian | keeps taking beautiful photos of moments in people’s lives, and lets you look at Tehran through her eyes. Earlier, we featured her photo story from Mecca.

Borga Kantürk

Borga Kantürk | borgakanturk | always seems to, in the simplest of ways, capture the atmosphere of places. In Istanbul and elsewhere.

Victor Mousa

Victor Mousa | victormousa | is another Egyptian voice, who knows how to do Arab kitsch in a nice way.

Alia Al Shamsi

Alia Al Shamsi | aliaalshamsi | is a photojournalist in the UAE who shoots the contemporary alongside the retro. Always different from how Dubai is usually portrayed.

Then, there are a few people/feeds that share old and new photos from across the region. There’s zamaaan – ”your passport to the past” – of course, who share old family pictures (read what we wrote about zamaaan here). arabictypography posts, yes that’s right, photos of Arabic typography. Jad Salfiti | jadsalfiti | shares a lot of work as well, not least old and rare photographies. And, for those who cannot get enough of retro moustaches and traditional hats, there’s iranostalgia.

The list is an adapted version of a post that was featured earlier on the website of Jenny Gustafsson.

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2 thoughts on “Windows into the world

  1. I love it – too bad Instagram owns all these images and can use them however they please.

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