November 2010. A man by the name of Brandon Stanton decides to go out everyday and photograph strangers on the streets of New York. He figured he'd get to know them, ask them a few questions, and share the story online. Three years later, the “Humans of New York” photoblog is one of the biggest things online. With over 2 million followers on Facebook, it stands out on his own as a phenomenon worth checking out.
But the “Humans of” movement didn't stop in New York. From India to Latin America passing by Europe and Australia, it has now gone viral, covering our planet city by city. Our region, the Middle East and North Africa, has proven to be no exception.
The following is an overview of the main “Humans of” pages of our region.
Humans of Cairo
Humans of Cairo was started by Salma Hegab, a 22 year old blogger and multimedia journalism graduating senior from the American University of Cairo. Created in November of 2012, and currently with over 3,500 likes and counting, it aims to capture Cairo's diversity. This is what she has to say about it:
“I believe that Cairo is such a vibrant city. Although I hate living here most of the time, I think that starting a project like this will help me to reflect on the city through my eyes, and it'd give the city the chance to reflect itself through my lens! The fact that I have been using professional cameras for a couple of years does not deny that I still have SO much to LEARN, and I hope this will give me great chances to improve my photography skills.”
You can check out her interview with Ta3beer here.
Humans of Egypt was created by a (so far) unknown photographer sometime in 2012. Not much is said about it, and it hasn't been updated in months. But it is definitely worth a look. Also from Egypt is “Humans of Mansoura“.
Humans of Tehran
Humans of Tehran started on May the 9th, 2012 and has now over 100,000 followers, making it MENA's most popular “Humans of” page. This is what the photographer had to say about it:
“Tehran is not as faraway as you think it is. Inspired by “Humans of New York”, this page offers a pictorial glimpse into the daily lives of Iranians in their beloved dusty rusty capital.”
Humans of Istanbul
Humans of Istanbul was created in 2012 as part of the Istanbul Photo Contest. Today, it has over 2,200 followers. This is what the founder, Shawn Ryan had to say about his project:
“To photograph humanity in Istanbul, a city full of people from around the world, and rich with culture, tradition, history, language, hospitality. To capture photos of the wonderful human beings in this wonderful city is the project, and each photo tells a human story.”
Humans of Tel Aviv
Humans of Tel Aviv can boast a pretty decent 20,000+ followers. Created on the 7th of April, 2012 by Erez Kaganovitz, it enjoys a decent loyal group of followers. Why does it exist? Kaganovitz answers: “Tel Aviv is one of the most interesting places on Earth. Come and meet the People who make it so interesting.”
Humans of Palestine
Humans of Jeddah
Humans of Jeddah – Saudi Arabia is still brand new. Created a month ago, it is a collaboration between two photographers, Helmy Alsagaff and Sharifa Lee Abdulrahman, who “want to share with the world the diversity of this city's beautiful people.”
Also from Saudi Arabia is “Humans of Riyadh“.
Humans of Lebanon
Humans of Lebanon started off as a collaboration between myself and Mher Krikorian, a Lebanese-Armenian photographer who gained a reputation as part of Beirut Street Photographers (BSP). We were later joined by Karim Sakr, also a member of BSP. Like any Humans Of pages, the goal of Humans of Lebanon is “to celebrate Lebanon's diversity by showing you its inhabitants.”
If you want a closer look at Lebanon's students, you can check out Noura Andrea Nassar's “Humans of LAU” page. Noura, who actually met Brandon Stanton in New York and is a student at the Lebanese American University, has this to say about her project:
“I've always admired Humans of New York. It teaches you not to judge people because everyone's got his own thing going on. I've always wanted to be part of Humans of Lebanon, but my arabic is terrible and it would be hard for me to communicate. And then I met Brandon in New York, and that really had an impact on me: I wanted to create a similar page but on a smaller scale, and that's how I came up with the Humans of LAU page. These are people that you see on a daily basis, but you never talk to and that you tend to judge.”
Humans of Amman
Humans of Amman was started over a year ago by Ali Alhasani. It is a photography project “that aims to capture portraits of people around Amman, Jordan, without focusing on gender, race or color to spread the sense of unity among the Jordanian society. Other photographers are contributing to the project as well.”
Humans of Kuwait
Also a recent addition to the Humans Of family, Humans of Kuwait City‘s story is the following:
“My name is Bryan and I began Humans of Kuwait in the winter of 2013 resulting in HOK. I Have a goal to catalogue 5,000 of the city’s inhabitants, so I set out to photograph Kuwait as I see it. As the social followers grow, HOK will provide a worldwide audience with a daily glimpse into the lives of strangers in Kuwait.”
Humans of Tunisia
Humans of Tunisia was created a few months ago “to all those Humans of Tunisia who get lost in the every day and don't take time to appreciate it”.
Humans of Khartoum
Humans of Khartoum is “a small tribute to the people of Khartoum, Sudan, one street portrait at a time.”
Humans of Baghdad
Humans of Baghdad was created by Nasser Billah AlNasseri, a doctor and former journalist at a French news agency. He had to leave Baghdad after constant threats due to his work as a journalist.
Humans of Syria
Humans of Syria was started just a few days ago. The photographer remains anonymous but here is what he or she had to say about the page: “Syria, to let out the unspoken thoughts that have been hidden in hearts unspoken in eyes, detained in tears vanished beyond the sound of war. To live again.”
Humans of Dubai and Humans of Abu Dhabi
Humans of Dubai was created by a French photographer named Isabelle who has been living in Dubai for the past 9 years.
Also from the UAE is “Humans of Abu Dhabi“.
Humans of Tripoli
Humans of Tripoli was created as “an effort to create a photographic census of T-town, offering nothing but the beauty of all.”
Also from Libya is “Humans of Benghazi“.
Humans of Casablanca
Humans of Casablanca was created a few months ago. Who are the photographers behind the project? In their own words, “We are those who believe that the only way to discover our true selves hidden within us is to go to people, to confront our past and learn from their experiences.”
Humans of Algiers
Humans of Algiers was created a few months ago as a place where “one story per day is remembered to tell the story of people of Algiers.”