Newsletter / Winter issue
Portraits of photographer Mohamed Orabi. Experimentation with print colouring techniques. 
Unidentified photographer
Collection AIF
© Arab Image Foundation

From the personal family collection of studio photographer Mohamed Orabi (1905-1983, lived and worked in Tripoli, Lebanon). The physical and digital archiving of this new addition to the AIF's existing collection of Orabi's work has recently been completed.
AIF receives grant from Fund for International development of Archives (FIDA)

The International Council on Archives' Fund for International development of Archives has awarded the Arab Image Foundation a grant to support the designing of an emergency preparedness plan for the AIF collection. The funds will enable the AIF to partake in observation missions and consultations with specialists, to obtain emergency supplies, to develop a plan, and to organise a one-day workshop in Lebanon for other holders of photographic collections and emergency response specialists. Please contact to register your interest in participating in the one-day workshop (date TBC). 
Visit the FIDA site
A look back on the Modern Heritage Observatory's first two years

It has been a successful and encouraging first two years for the Modern Heritage Observatory. It has seen the creation of a network of heritage institutions across the region, the launch of a website and publication dedicated to modern heritage from the Middle East, regular national meetings, two regional symposiums, and the first ever celebration in Lebanon of International Archives Day. The founding members of the Modern Heritage Observatory (the Arab Image Foundation, the Arab Center for Architecture, the Cinémathèque de Tanger and IRAB  the Arabic Association for Music) have now ended their term as project partners. The MoHO network will continue to meet, organise events and update its website, with these activities managed by representatives from various MoHO network member institutions. For more information on the future of the MoHO network and how you can get involved, please email

The Modern Heritage Observatory held its second regional symposium on modern cultura
l heritage preservation in the MENA region in November 2013. Full video documentation from both symposiums can be viewed online.

The Modern Heritage Observer, a printed and online publication dedicated to modern heritage and preservation in the Middle East and featuring contributions from many MoHO network members, is available to pick up free as a printed copy (in English or Arabic) from the Arab Image Foundation in Gemmayze or other network members.

Furthering photograph preservation expertise in the Middle East
The Middle East Photograph Preservation Initiative (MEPPI) launched its third photograph preservation course in Amman from 20 to 28 January 2014, in the history-laden surroundings of Darat al Funun. The 17 participants joined from national archives, ministries, universities, public libraries, private collections and museums, located in Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen. During the eight-day intensive workshop, they took part in theoretical and practical sessions in various topics ranging from overviews of photographic processes and emergency preparedness to best practices in storage and digitization. Participants will now benefit from a distance-mentoring phase, before reconvening by the end of 2014 for a follow up meeting. 
MEPPI is led jointly by the Arab Image Foundation, the University of Delaware, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Getty Conservation Institute. The initiative is supported by an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant and funded in parts by the Getty Conservation Institute.

Instructors and participants at the Amman workshop, January 2014
Photo by Abdulrahman Alghabiri  
University and schools visits to the AIF

Are you a university student or instructor curious about photography, archiving, history or visual studies?
Are you a primary or high school teacher looking to introduce your class to photography from the Arab world and instil the importance of protecting this heritage?

The Arab Image Foundation welcomes school and university groups to its premises in Gemmayze, Beirut to learn about photography and preservation. Visitors are offered a guided tour of the library and photographic displays and preservation department. The work of archiving, digitisation and documentation of photographs is explained by our experts with sample materials on display. Free educational materials are offered to visitors.

To book a visit for your group, please write to or call 01569373

Coming up in 2014Children's workshops around photography
In partnership with the Institut Français
Three cycles of workshops for children will begin later in 2014 at the AIF in Gemmayze, Beirut. Through practical workshops linking the photographic medium with other art forms including storytelling, painting and theatre, children will engage with the history of photography and techniques to read and study images. More information will follow soon. 
Please write to to register your interest in your child participating. 
'Shadows', International Image Festival
1-31 March 2014

Catch the AIF in Amman, Jordan this March. An exhibition of images from the AIF collection will run for the month of March as part of the Institut Français de Jordanie Image Festival, an annual event taking place across Amman. More details here soon. 
New books in the Library
With thanks to the Prince Claus Fund and our friends and supporters for their generous donations



The Foundation’s research facilities include a collection of over 1,300 books, monographs, catalogues, journals, theses and DVDs essential  to the study of photography, preservation, art, theory, and regional history. Visitors can browse reproduction prints of photographs from the AIF collection and also search our photographic collection database. The library is a quiet space for studying. AIF publications and postcards are also available for purchase.

The Library has a new Facebook page! Click here to like us. 
Visit us!
Zoghbi building, 4th floor. 337, Gouraud Street.
Gemmayzeh, Beirut.
Find us on Google Maps

Opening hours
Mon-Fri, 1-5pm and first Saturday of every month, 11-6pm. Next Saturday opening: 1 March. 
AIF Vacancies We are recruiting a Fundraising and Communications Officer. Please click here for more details, or write to for more information.
Applications should be sent as soon as possible. 

175th anniversary of the birth of photography!

2014 marks the 1
75th anniversary of Louis Daguerre's 1839 announcement of the invention of photography.
Read more about Louis Daguerre and the invention of the daguerrotype on The Metropolitan Museum of Art website

Photo by Abdulrahman Alghabiri
Annual Fund
Continued financial support for the Arab Image Foundation is crucial in sustaining its photographic collection and related programs.  We extend our thanks to Raja Harb, Assem el-Khairy, Ziad Rajab, and an anonymous donor for their recent support.

To learn more about how to donate please contact

Our supporters 2014

Grants and Institutions
Fund for the International development of Archives
Institut Français
Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development
Prince Claus Fund Cultural Emergency Response fund
The Violet Jabara Charitable Trust

MEPPI is supported by a generous grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation and also funded in parts by the Getty Conservation Institute.
The Modern Heritage Observatory is funded by the European Union and the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Main corporate partner
Banque Libano-Française

Corporate donors

Ets. F.A. Kettaneh (Kettaneh Frères) S.A.
Fondation Saradar
Mind the gap
Protek Hayek
The Better Image
Tru Vue - Optium Acrylic Glazing

The AIF also relies on the generous support of individual donors.

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