PARIS, FRANCE. The times have not been more tumultuous for Muslims around the world than they are now. Identities, -the sense and definition of what it means to be a “Muslim,”- continue to be shaped and redefined daily, whether by external struggles, or more importantly, internal ones.
Muslims in Paris have historically experienced intense prejudice. As I approached Muslims to take these photos, I was initially often met with fear and worry that my images would reinforce rhetoric and clichés. Though the doors to the Mosque are always open to visitors, factions and fragments are present.
My timing was also inconvenient. Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic Calendar, whereby Muslims worldwide observe fast from dawn to dusk, took place from July 9th to August 8th. Many Muslims in Paris would consequently fast between 18 to 19 hours each day.
As my visits grew frequent, their comfort grew, and as a community, they became more welcoming of my lens.
My last day of shooting was the first day of Eid, a special morning prayer to commemorate two Islamic festivals (Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha). The above photos cover Eid al Fitr, the first day after Ramadan, literally translated as “breaking fast.”
Paris’ largest mosque, La Grande Mosquée de Paris, was packed with hundreds of Muslims celebrating. It was symbolic of what many Muslims hope to feel at the end of Ramadan: a welcoming of all good and a refreshed sense of courage and strength.