from Lebanese Archive of Diab Alkarssifi 1889-1993″, Edited by Ania Dabrowska
Amongst thousands of photographs from Lebanon and Middle East, and from Diab’s visits to Moscow or Budapest, there is a comperatively small number of studio portraits of women (compared to studio portraits of men). Studio portraits, and in particular, passport-style head shots, despite of, or perhaps thanks to their rigor, uniformity and simplicity of form, focus our eyes on the sitters. Their faces, hairstyles, make up, head coverings, and clothes chosen for the occasion are all frozen in a tiny frame of time – a capsule full of clues about life beyond the frame, and cultural changes taking place over time.
Here is a selection of studio portraits of women from Baalbeck, with an exception of an unknown lady from Syria, which we guess was taken in the 1920s, from the archive of Hussain Saleh, given to Diab Alkarssifi. Where possible, we copied the names and dates from the reverse of the photos. Please let us know, if we made any mistakes, or if you can identify any of the women in these portraits, or dates when they were taken. (AD)