I was born and raised in a Christian-Arab family in Nazareth. The schools I attended were run by priests and nuns. Science was the foundation of our curriculum. At the same time, exposure to Christianity and particularly to the art residing in churches - oil portraits of Jesus and Mary on canvas and the intensity of stained-glass windows illuminating biblical stories with vibrant colors - significantly shaped my artistic perception and social identity.

During my undergraduate studies, I focused on art history and mass communication at the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Communication at the Tel Aviv University. My art studies exposed me to the role of creation in the local existence, as a status symbol or as a social expression of the era. My communication studies allowed me to explore the power of media in shaping thoughts and creating realities. I pursued a master's degree in photography at Goldsmiths, University of London; however, due to my father's terminal illness, I was compelled to discontinue my studies and return home. The prolonged and exhausting battle my father faced with his illness significantly impacted my personal journey beyond the world of photography, and his passing greatly influenced my return to the craft as part of my coping mechanism, utilizing light and darkness as the foundation for my work.

Growing up as a Christian/Arab/Israeli created a complexity in which I was required to develop a distinct absolute identity for each world. The Christian identity belonged to the Christian world in Europe and the USA, the Arab identity looked to the non-local Arab world (mainly Lebanon and Syria) for inspiration, and the Israeli identity was shaped through the value of human life and love for the country. The world view of each identity was nourished by different sources, and the only common interface between them was me. Doubt was the primary means of communication between the identities, and today it forms the basis for exploring the multiplicity of identities in others, with photography itself becoming the medium to illuminate the identity of the captured soul.

The project "Shades of the Soul" is a photographic exploration developed over the last four years, seeking to understand the interplay between light and darkness - light as the fundamental language of photography and darkness as a metaphor for the soul's shadow. The initiative began with experiments in light painting: capturing images in as dark an environment as possible with long exposure. The light drawings are recorded using controlled light directed at the camera's sensor. This experiment evolved into photographing objects in complete darkness, using the light painting technique directly on the objects themselves. The third phase of the project involved light painting on people, revealing multiple images of the same individual, each with a unique and definitive figurative expression.

The works within the "Shades of the Soul" project are characterized by a high contrast in black and white, predominantly showcasing the upper body of the subject with an emphasis on the face. During the photography session, subjects are invited to enter a dark room and the entire photography process is conducted without any specific direction. The subjects are free to choose their pose, movement, or any gesture as long as they remain within the frame of the shot. One of the requirements though is to maintain a constant distance from the camera to ensure the clarity of the photograph. From an external perspective, the photography process appears as a dance or enchantment, where the subject's free movement is accompanied by a beam of light that traverses various parts of the body, seeking to reveal the hidden: the shade of the soul. The duration of a photography session averages approximately ninety minutes and is punctuated by brief conversations, usually centered on the subject's personal journey. Time is a critical component in this photographic method because most subjects initially feel discomfort in front of the camera. During these initial moments, defensive mechanisms operate and, in most cases, the initial photographs do not achieve the intended depth. However, over time, these defenses begin to dissolve, leading to the pivotal question, "Who am I? What am I supposed to do now in front of the camera?" It is at this juncture that the magic begins.