LaGuardia Students Capture the ‘Faces of Islam’

Aliya Latif (Photo from the exhibit via Times Ledger)

Aliya Latif (Photo from the exhibit via Times Ledger)

A new exhibit at the Queens Museum displays the “Faces of Islam,” with subjects ranging from students to politicians, and a princess as well, reports Tammy Scileppi for Times Ledger.

The show, which runs from Feb. 7 to March 1, is the product of two semesters of work done by photography students and faculty at LaGuardia Community College.

They wanted to illuminate the various life experiences of the American Muslim community, so they captured the “Faces of Islam,” through thought-provoking portraits. While several images were shot by students as individual projects, other works were the result of photos that were taken of subjects who modeled in the classroom.

“The premise of this photo project is to document the diversity within the Muslim community and show that they are not a monolith,” LaGuardia’s Alexandra Ben Othman said.

Othman’s first instinct was to find groups “who one wouldn’t necessarily think of as Muslim.”

“Many of my earlier subjects were from Central and South America, since Latinos are the fastest-growing convert group in America.”

Because African Americans are the oldest and one of the largest Muslim groups in America, she said it was important to represent them as well.

“And then of course, we have people from India, Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco and Palestine,” she said. “Some other groups include a woman from Kazakhstan, a Tanzanian of Indian descent, a white convert and a Filipino from the island of Mindanao, who is the daughter of a sultan.”

Scileppi speaks to two of the students who shot images for the exhibit, one from Ecuador and the other from the Dominican Republic. Read how the experience broadened their views on Muslims and the Islamic religion, at Times Ledger.

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