Who do you think will be interested in our 25 years ago stories?
What did you have for lunch today darling?
"I can't imagine my page without my dear dad in it, Ali"
I am Ali Zaray, I overcame my awe of life and people. I learned with a bit of lightness that all what is around us is art; friends, home, music and the streets ....
I walk in the city, looking for stories, faces and emotions in the crowd. I love the color yellow and recently lentil soup.
I traveled with the Bedouins in Egypt on a long journey, in which the voice of Sheikh Ahmed Brin always accompanied me. Honestly, he accompanies me on all journeys, in all adventures, discoveries of different worlds and ideas, and he has easened my mind and heart as I try to document my city that is disappearing ... I currently live - for a temporary period - in Hanover, Germany. Several days ago, I was able to describe my apartment there as my home ..
"Your Father looked exactly like Noor El Sherif. We were very cute"
My Dad's archive, 30 years ago
"I have never smoked, I don't even know how it tastes"
This is just for the picture
My family never asked me to photograph them, like how my friends continuously ask. I do not know why?
Some questions I prefer not to ask, and I put flowers instead,
My father advised me not to take photography as a career, I do not know why ..
Now dad, eat and dress the way you wish
"Ali, return back to Egypt"
"Mama, I am telling you a girl was arrested because she danced!!"
"Ali maybe she is guilty, and dancing is sinful anyways"
"I don't believe in this bullshit about family values Mama"
"Ali we are a Muslim society, it is shameful you think this way"
"What happened to you son.."
I am still the same person, shy, hesitant and reluctant
I have received letters and photos from my parents, and they were the sweetest thing
"Remember Ali when the Mahshi plate fell from your hands when you were coming from your grandmother, and we ate nothing this day because of you? hahahah"
"Do you remember when your teachers forgot you in the kindergarden and didn't take you on the bus, and we kept searching for you. Until we found you sleeping in the class?"
"Or when the girl injured your face and we fought with them hahah"
Beautiful memories.. may you always stay around us healthy my son
"Morality is to respect the elderly"
And what about when an old person is an asshole?
Is there a point in your Mom making the best Mulekhya plate in the world?
We just want a hot bowl of Mulekhya.. thats it, we will be satisfied
Conversations with my mother about
Which means "being away from one's homeland" but it literally translates to "alienation"
I wanted to virtually take my mother into a world she has never been to
Together, we built a Snow Man
It was also my first time to see snow
My mother finds it very hard for people to live in such snowy and cold countries,
This worries her about me,
to her this is very alienating,
"Come to the Warmth"
My mom would always tell me, when she wants me to come back
A gloomy life I have, and normal landscapes I photograph in Hannover
My mother thinks that I am in Heaven,
Little she knows what I feel inside
I collaborated with a studio photographer Ibrahim AbdelHamid in Mallawy Town, Menia , Egypt. He photographed my parents and photoshopped them into my images.
I wanted to take my mother out of her small town, even if it was virtually
- " Can we not Hug, Ali?"
- "Mom, you have been married for 30 years and you shy out from a hug?!"
You do not need to know that Ali has more than a hundred records of the dozens of nights that Sheikh Ahmed Berin, one of the most beautiful Egyptian chants of Upper Egypt and the dearest to Ali's heart, to realize the depth of his love for this man.
Those nights when the sheikh’s voice accompanied him between Egypt, Kenya and Germany, Ali will love you anyway, but if you are a fan of Sheikh Berin, or want to listen to him, and hear about him, you entered his heart widely and profoundly.
As it is very common of Ali,
This work is not finished yet,
and probably will not
But the promise to finish it, continues