Issue #2020.04

We do not walk alone

Dear friends and colleagues, 

Thank you for the outpouring of solidarity! It is taking a while to pick up the pieces and revive a sense of stability following the Beirut port disaster on 4th of August 2020. What pulls us through is the accompaniment of those near and far. We have been graced by your warm messages, your concerted efforts to help us mobilise support, and your generous donations. But most of all, it is your presence far beyond our shores that anchors our sense of belonging and commitment to the work we do.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Scroll down for an updated list of individual and institutional donors.

Header image
#0242ac00075: Beirut port, unidentified photographer, Gelatin silver developing-out paper print. Jorge Abud Chami Collection, courtesy of the Arab Image Foundation, Beirut

Community support

On behalf of the small team of the Arab Image Foundation, we wish to express our heartfelt thanks to all those who continue to stand by us in this challenging period. ​ Soon after the Beirut port disaster on 4th of August 2020, AIF staff, members and friends returned to the premises to clear up the debris and begin the recovery process, despite the shock and trauma. They were joined by former employees of AIF and a number of dedicated volunteers over several days.

Thank you to all the volunteers including those whose names we may have not captured:

Aline Tawk | Amani Yaqob | Anthony El Houkayem | Baris Dogrusoz | Charbel Saad | Elie Tawk | Emil Semaan | Gabriella Choueifaty | Lamia Abukhadra | Lara Tawk | Maha Kays | Maissa Maatouk | Nour Saghir | Pauline Maroun | Rami Moukarzel | Rayya Badran | Roxana-Maria Aras | Sally Awad | Sasha Youssef | Steve Fakhry | Tamara Sawaya | Vanessa Elias |

Check out this video taken by Pauline Maroun during the first week of our collective cleaning efforts.

In-kind donations

We recognise that our emergency response efforts are not possible without your help. Thanks to you, we are safeguarding our photographic collections, stabilising the conditions at our premises, and providing our team with the necessary material and equipment needed to pursue work in preservation, digitisation, collection management, and communications. Amid make-shift rooms and cramped spaces, the AIF team managed to monitor the temperature of one room to keep the collections, while the Cool Storage Room is being fixed to temporarily house the collection.

Work in progress

While waiting for stabilisation works to begin at the AIF, we decided to resume cataloguing all the albums within our collections. The Albums Mission, which we had started in June, consists of cataloguing, rehousing, and digitizing over 40 unique photographic albums. We are currently working on finishing 6 albums from the Jean-Pierre and Yasmina Zahar Collection, one of our richest and most diverse collections in terms of photographic processes, and with a special emphasis on Lebanon, and in particular Saida. This mission is generously supported by the William Talbott Hillmann Foundation.

What's next

The next big step is to fix windows, doors, and work spaces to ensure better protection to our collections and to re-create a reasonable working environment ahead of the rainy season. In the medium term, we seek to address even better safety conditions for the staff and collections. With good practices in mind, we will be searching to relocate our premises. We aspire to be more public-facing, to explore a more sustainable set-up for the Cool Storage Room, and to provide more facilities for educational and exchange activities.

We count on your continued support!

You can read our post-explosion damage assessment here: Issue #2020.02.

Click here if you wish to make a contribution to help the AIF in its stabilisation and recovery efforts.

AIF team: Rawad, Charbel, Rachel, Heba, Clémence and Mahmoud
AIF team: Rawad, Charbel, Rachel, Heba, Clémence and Mahmoud

List of individual donors to the recent emergency response ​
In alphabetical order. Last update: 07 December 2020. Updated donors names are highlighted in bold.
Thank you to each and every person for your generous support and in-kind donations to date. The AIF is also grateful to a number of donors who prefer to remain undisclosed.

Abdulaziz Alqatami | Adam Bandler | Alana Alireza | Alana Holmberg | Alexandra Mendez | Alexandre Medawar |
Aleya Lehmann Bench Photography | Alfonso De Gregorio | Alison Miller | Alsharifa Zein Sa'dedin | Alyson Shotz | Amanda Maloney | Amber Bohnaker | Amira Akl | Anders Rubing | Andre Spears | Andrea L Crawford | Anette Baldauf | Angel Luis Gonzalez | Angelika Wedde | Anja Schürmann | Anne Ruygt | Anne Thieme | Annette Mullink | Antoine Garrigue-Guyonnaud | Audree Anid | Avery Gordon | Aykan Safoglu | Aylin Elci |

Banu Karaca | Barbara Lemmen | Beatrice Bismarck | Bernard Batrouni | Brauer Isabelle | Bridget Guarasci | Cady Susswein | Camille Germanos | Carolina Cerbaro | Caroline Gil | Chapman Christopher | Charlotte Browning Mitchell | Chez Moukheiber Joelle Aoun | Chirin Atasi | Chloe Bordewich | Christian Belgaux | Civan Özkanoğlu | Clara Ewert | Clément Chéroux | Cristina Voinea | Daniel Berndt | Dima As'ad | Doreen Mende | Doris Summer | Duncan Wooldridge | Eleni Zaras | Elske Rosenfeld | Emily Marston | Emily Myerscough | Emine Duzyol ​ | Fady Tabbal | Evelyn Shockley | ​ Faisal Mahmood | Fanny et Cyril Seller Dewaleyne | Dr. Feßel Sonja | FM Lutgerink | Francisco Hernandez Reyes | Franziska Leidig | Gabriela Siegel | Gavin Everall | Gloria Habsburg-Lothringen | Grégory Richa | Gwenola Furic-Martres |

Hannah Rifkin | Hazem Aljesr | Heather Haber | Hend Alawadhi | Henry Gordon Masters | Huda Al Abdulmughni | Ibrahim Moussa | Ieva Raudseps| Iftikhar Dadi | India Ayles | Inga Schneider | Ioana Voiculescu | Iris Sikking | Isabel Lantz | Jamal Baroudy | James De Lorenzi | Jamie Downs | Jananne Al-Ani | Jan-Marcel Müller | Jane Beran | Jane Rolo | Janet Bellotto | Jasmin Daam | Jason Garza | Jasper Kettner | Jay Levenson | Jennifer Anna Gil | Jeremy Fayollet | Jonathan Farbowitz | Jonathan Shannon | Jonathan Zumar | Jose Luis Neves | ​ Jose Francisco Hernandez | Jose Luis Neves | Josefina Maldonado | Joseph Malikian | Joshua Guilford | Judy Ditner | Julia Burton | Julia Hauser | Justin Hoden | Katie Hickerson | Katy Glen | Klaus Pollmeier |

Lara Saikali | Lars Willumeit |
Lauren Ehrmann | Lukas Birk | Sharrett | Line Ajan | Louisa Ruby | Lucia Halder | Luisa Casell | Lydia Mardirian | Lynn Gumpert | Maciej Czajka | Madeline Yale | Mahmut C Ozkanoglu | Manal Abu-Shaheen | Marc Ohrem-Leclef | Maren Grimm | Margaret Carson | Margaret Olin | Margherita Foresti | Margot Becka | Maria Domene-Danes | Maria Esquinca | Maria Politarhos | Termignon | Mariet Westerman | Marion Hilsen | Marwa Boukarim | Maryanne Long | Maryna Sulym | Maura Dettoni | Maximilian Kraus | Maxine Dannatt | Maxwell Pierson | Megan Narvey | Mélanie Bras | Woodward | Mirjam Brusius | Mohamad Hammoud | Mona Al-Jadir | Mona Hatoum | Murata Hanako | Nadine Thiel | Nathaniel Tarn | Nayree Mardirian | Naz Yucel | Nicole Ferraiolo | Nora Kennedy | Nour Del Barrio Garcia | HE Noura Al Kaabi ​ | Noura Mohamed Helal Soroor Al Kaabi | Núria Faraig Ferrando |

Ozge Ersoy | Pauline Maroun | Pauline Vermare | Ramzi Rizk |
Randa Salti | Rania Dalloul | Rebecca Albee | Rebecca John | Reem Bassous | Remi Calzada | Renate Papsch | Rhea Karam | Ricardo Cardenas | Richard Bahto | Richard Doughty | Rima Ghanem | Rima Mokaiesh | Roberto Mendez | Roula Seikaly | Roz Hayes | Rozenn Quéré | ​

Sally Stein | Samia Saouma | Sanam Gharagozlou | Sandra Williams | Sara Bodinson | Sarah Anis | Shohini Chaudhuri | Alexander Stapleton | Steve Sfarzo | Sophie Kriegel | Sueraya Shaheen | Tania Assaly | Tiago Santos | Tina Barouti | Toby Lee | Tom Holert | Vincent Barone | Virginia Poundstone | Walter Sedovic | Wolfgang Rieger | Yoni Wehbe | 정현 유 | Zachary William Krida |

We are grateful to all funds, organizations and companies that have contributed financial and material support:

Last update: 07 December 2020. Updated donors names are highlighted in bold.
Prince Claus Fund | Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art - INHA | U.S. Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation | Middle East Photograph Preservation Initiative - MEPPI | Musée Français de la Photographie | Mariët Westermann, and the Pardoe-Westermann Family Fund | Middle East and Islamic Caucus of Franklin & Marshall College | Klug-Conservation | Luminous-Lint | Oteri General Construction | Moore Archives & Preservation LLC | GAPS LLC | Blue Shield | Book Works | American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works | Savvy Wood Photography | Centre de la Photographie | Benevity | PhotoArts Studio | Robert Rauschenberg Foundation | Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung |

In case you missed this...

Our stories were carried in local and international media who were ever-present to help us voice our concerns but also our aspirations despite a difficult context.

Télérama // À Beyrouth, le monde culturel, en ruine, peine à imaginer un avenir

MoMA // A call for Beirut

The Daily Star // ‘The collection is safe, the foundation’s ruined’

Hyperallergic // Deadly Explosion in Beirut Decimates Thousands of Buildings, Including Galleries and Museums

deVolkskrant // Internationale culturele ‘ambulancedienst’ biedt eerste hulp aan getroffen kunst in Beiroet

الأخبار // «المؤسسة العربيّة للصورة» ومتحف سرسق بعد الانفجار: «ألبوم الخسارة»

The Arab Image Foundation extends its appreciation to the generous supporters that make our current activities possible.

Major Supporters


Online Platform Supporter

Projects Supporters

Pikasso | Graham Foundation | Akram Zaatari | Alexandre Medawar

About The Arab Image Foundation

The Arab Image Foundation is an independent association forging new pathways for photography and image practices. Uniquely positioned at the intersection of artistic creation, research, and archiving, we explore, question and confront the complex social and political realities of our times.

Our collection of over 500,000 photographic objects and documents from and related to the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora has been gradually assembled over the last 25 years by artists and researchers and through donations. With a critical and innovative approach, we collect, rethink, preserve, animate and understand these photographs through their multiple strata, and enrich the collection in the process.


Zoghbi Building, 4th Floor, 337 Gouraud Street, Gemmayzeh, Beirut, Lebanon

+961 1 569 373

[email protected]