Culture is the essence, it defines any civilised society or individualPhoto Zeina Arida

The Arab Image Foundation aims to promote photography in the Middle East and North Africa by locating, collecting, and preserving the region's photographic heritage.


Arab Image Foundation

A portion of the Arab Image Foundation collection is online, the rest is soon to follow

Van Leo, Prince Claus Fund Laureate 2000

Website Prince Claus Fund - Prince Claus Awards 2000

From the exhibition Palestine before '48
© Arab Image Foundation

From the exhibition Palestine before '48
© Arab Image Foundation


Culture is not a luxury?

Culture is part of us. It’s what constitutes a person, it links generations and gives meaning to history. Knowing one’s culture is knowing one’s self. Identifying and preserving one’s heritage allows reaching out to the others.

The Prince Claus Fund

The Foundation’s relations with the Prince Claus Fund are based on trust and respect. The Prince Claus Fund gave the Arab Image Foundation credit by giving us a grant only a few months after we had started our project. The partnership between our institutions has evolved over the years and taken many different forms.
Moreover, the award granted to the Egyptian photographer Van Leo gave him the recognition he had been waiting for his whole life, not only on an international level but also in Egypt and the Arab world.

Photography in contemporary society in the Middle East

The Middle East includes many different cultures, societies and peoples. Therefore it is too broad a term to be defined as a single entity. Nevertheless we could say that photography is becoming a widely used medium among artists and that there is an increasing interest among the public to photographic related activities.

How the collection is perceived in the Middle East

The Arab Image Foundation’s collection shows a different facet of societies in the Middle East that has been occulted by stereotypical images. People living in the Middle East regard our collection as being an important historical as well as cultural resource that attempts to change the general perception of the Middle East. They recognize images from their family photo albums, or they are very surprised to see an aspect of their country and region that they were not aware of.