Nejwa Issa: Girlhood in a traditional village

The village of Sbaa Rouadi, outside of Fes, Morocco, is one of tradition and beauty. Photographer Emma Hohenstein shadowed the Issa family for a week. Nejwa Issa, third child of Hakeema and Mohammed Issa, is exactly what one would expect from a nine-year-old: boisterous, rowdy, and care-free. However, she deals with the challenges of societal and familial expectations of a young woman, on a daily basis. This series seeks to display both her enthusiasm and freedom, as well as the impending challenges of being a woman in Sbaa Rouadi and Morocco.

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Village Stay: Roots for Generations

BY: ELISE CAMPBELL

BIRTA, MOROCCO – Karim Zahrawi, 30, dug through a layer of dark, moist soil that gave in to the rounded edge of his shovel. When he reached a layer of golden brown shale, he grabbed his pickaxe to penetrate the new layer. As his soil-caked hands gripped the handle of the axe, salty beads of sweat from his sun-browned temples fell onto the nape of his navy blue cotton T-shirt. His worn leather shoes gathered new layers of dust as he inched his way deeper into the earth.

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Village Stay: Inside the Singing Walls

BY: ELISE CAMPBELL

BIRTA, MOROCCO – Dunia Chamoun sat in the warmth of the sun that cast a hazy glow through the dirty window. Her notebooks, worn by her fingers tracing the corners and words, sat on her lap. Since she dropped out of school seven years ago, at age 11, she’s spent the majority of her days inside the family’s small, clay-walled house.

After Chamoun’s father passed away, her older brothers decided to keep her at home in order to preserve her body, her beauty, and ultimately her reputation as a “good girl.” Despite her domestic isolation, she finds ways to express herself through writing. 

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The Generations of Lazar

By Rachel Woolf

A pair of wrinkled hands snapped open lima beans. One empty pod quickly joined a small mountain of peels, tossed next to a bright purple bag of lima beans.

Khayra Lafkire, rested her hands on top of the small white fur carpet before playfully hitting her great grandson, Mouad Lazar, with a pod.

Lafkire was sitting cross-legged in the center of a colorful chaos. Dim light spilt into the room from the kitchen, painting the orange and purple rugs with a yellow tint. As Lafkire continued her work, Mouad ran in circles, his feet slapping the rugs with each step.

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