A translated version of this piece is Available in: العربية (Arabic)
“I have always loved the color of coffee, moreover its smell, and I wasn’t like those who avoid it because it disturbs their sleep.” Eman al-Awami1`
Eman al-Awami was one of the thousands of Yemenis who were greatly harmed by the war. She lost her job, had to change her daily routine, and had to say goodbye to a number of close friends who left the country. In her words, coffee was the only thing that remained the same and didn’t escape. It was the only reminder of the good life she once lived.
“I continued my morning ritual with coffee, not giving up, thinking that I will somehow find salvation and a way out from the nightmare of war that insists on chasing everyone. Until I noticed something. I noticed that I get inspired more when spending time with my cup of coffee, and I became more capable of thinking clearly of the beauty of life. I became more capable of writing smoothly and seeing things differently. I became alive again and was capable of reuniting with the universe”, says al-Alwami.
Al-Madaniya magazine is pleased to publish a new body of work al-Awami created this year. In her ongoing series, ‘Through the Eyes of Coffee’, she reflects her resurrected view of the world through the small surface of her coffee in its cup. At points, we are able to see human beings who clearly are closest to the artist, and at times we see landscapes. Her experimental phase, begun with this body of work, inspired her to write and produce her first photo book, with the same title as the series.
Documentary photographer and visual artist al-Awami is a self-taught photographer. Her professional career in photography began in 2009. Through a number of photography courses and workshops, she developed her craft and focused her documentary photography on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, particularly as the situation of war and conflict escalated. Prior to that, she regularly worked on producing a fine art photography series that dealt with issues often concerning the living conditions of Yemeni women.
Al-Awami is based in Sana’a. She is a mother and a trainer photographer for a number of international NGOs. Her work has been exhibited in a number of group exhibitions, and she has been featured in a number of international publications and media as a speaker who presents a positive perspective on today’s modern Yemeni woman.