During the first half of the 20th century, Egypt was undergoing a social transformation. Class barriers were being torn down, along with rural urban migration, the faces representing the different strata of society in the capital city began to change. This studio portrait by photographer Alban, taken between the 1930s and the 1940s, provides a visual commentary on social mobility among the lower income classes. A man in traditional Egyptian dress – gallabeya and the kuftan – is portrayed with a younger boy behind him in more modern clothing.
The Arab Image Foundation is a non-profit organization established in Lebanon in 1997. The Foundation aims to locate, collect, preserve and promote the photographic heritage of the Middle East and North Africa. You can visit their extensive collection on www.fai.org.lb.
Over the next coming weeks, in collaboration with AIF, THE DAILY STAR EGYPT will be featuring a selection of photographs from the foundation’s collection. Keep an eye on this column for our upcoming competition.