Book Review: Women of Kuwait

Book Review: Women of Kuwait

ATHOOB AL-SHUAIBI  Mangoes © Maha Alasaker from the book  Women of Kuwait  by Maha Alasaker & Nada Faris published by Daylight Books (May 2019)

ATHOOB AL-SHUAIBI

Mangoes © Maha Alasaker from the book Women of Kuwait by Maha Alasaker & Nada Faris published by Daylight Books (May 2019)

By Jenna Butler

The bedroom is the most intimate room in any house--a room most Kuwaiti women would never be photographed in. Maha Alasaker’s book Women of Kuwait, takes us on a journey a photographer has never been on before--into the bedrooms of Kuwaiti women: 25 women, 25 bedrooms, 25 stories. Within each room, we discover a new woman with a new story to tell. Each photograph is accompanied by a story written by Nada Faris, an intimate anecdote that is personal, empowering, and honest.

DJINANE ALSUWAYEH  Breathe © Maha Alasaker from the book  Women of Kuwait  by Maha Alasaker & Nada Faris published by Daylight Books (May 2019)

DJINANE ALSUWAYEH

Breathe © Maha Alasaker from the book Women of Kuwait by Maha Alasaker & Nada Faris published by Daylight Books (May 2019)


In one photograph, Djinane Alsuwayeh is sitting on her bed. Light wanders in through a window gently kissing the left side of her body, leaving the other half a mystery. She is clutching a pillow. Pain is hidden among the crevices and shadows of her face. This photograph tells the story of a woman who has struggled finding words to express her grief. It shows how, through a life of inequality and repression, this woman was never taught to deal with sorrow, and has spent her entire life seeking an inner peace.

FARRAH KHAJA  Mirror © Maha Alasaker from the book  Women of Kuwait  by Maha Alasaker & Nada Faris published by Daylight Books (May 2019)

FARRAH KHAJA

Mirror © Maha Alasaker from the book Women of Kuwait by Maha Alasaker & Nada Faris published by Daylight Books (May 2019)

FATIMAH ALYAKOOB  Soul © Maha Alasaker from the book  Women of Kuwait  by Maha Alasaker & Nada Faris published by Daylight Books (May 2019)

FATIMAH ALYAKOOB

Soul © Maha Alasaker from the book Women of Kuwait by Maha Alasaker & Nada Faris published by Daylight Books (May 2019)

In Alasaker’s book, we see women wearing an array of different ensembles. Some chose to dress more traditionally, wearing a hijab. Some simply wear jeans and a blazer. How they choose to show themselves to the world reveals that women are emerging as individuals, regardless of their politics or religion.

SHARIFAH AL-FALAH  Best Friend © Maha Alasaker from the book  Women of Kuwait  by Maha Alasaker & Nada Faris published by Daylight Books (May 2019)

SHARIFAH AL-FALAH

Best Friend © Maha Alasaker from the book Women of Kuwait by Maha Alasaker & Nada Faris published by Daylight Books (May 2019)

Kuwait is said to be the Middle Eastern country where gender equality is most prevalent. Although this may be true, women there are still challenged by tradition, even as they emerge as the emblematic “Modern Woman.” In the office, women are equal to men, but outside women are expected to fit into the same role they have faced for hundreds of years.

SHUROOQ AMIN  Submersion © Maha Alasaker from the book  Women of Kuwait  by Maha Alasaker & Nada Faris published by Daylight Books (May 2019)

SHUROOQ AMIN

Submersion © Maha Alasaker from the book Women of Kuwait by Maha Alasaker & Nada Faris published by Daylight Books (May 2019)

Through each photograph, we learn about a new woman and her experiences in Kuwait. They are strong, beautiful, and unfazed by the society that is still, in some ways, set up against them. One day, women in Kuwait will live their lives by choice, not expectation.

You can find the book: here

You can find more about the photographer: here

You can find more about the author: here

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