: Existence Exiled: Baha’is in Egypt

spacer (2)6475_535386903190086_156421757_n (1)قمر العابدين مصور فوتوغرافى ومدون  من بنجلادش . فى زيارة له بالقاهرة لحضور ورشة عمل  قرر عمل توثيق لموضوع عن البهائيين واليكم ماكتب وما صور كصور وثائقية عن وضع البهائيين والهوية المصرية .

How would you feel if you were not a citizen of any country? How would you feel if you were considered a taboo in the society? As you have

noidentity, you would not have any rights. You could not get a national identification card, a birth certificate, a marriage or a divorce certificate, or even a death certificate. Because officially, you don’t exist. Nobody would ‘see’ you or talk about you. You would become a living ghost. Imagine that



For more than 2000 Baha’is living in Egypt, the above scenario is a reality they have to live everyday. The Baha’i children in Egypt are born with

this identity crisis. “The State shall guarantee the freedom of belief and freedom to practice religious rights,” says the Egyptian constitution (article 46). But that is hardly the reality. In practice, the government only recognizes three religions. So unless you are a Muslim, Christian or Jew, you are ‘nobody’. Though after much hurdle, a court ruling has been done for a provision to keep ‘-’ (dash) in the place of religion in ID card, practically there is almost no implementation of that.

This series of photographs narrates about the Baha’i teenagers or Baha’i youth who have been living with an impression of being unseen, being unheard and mostly of being unaccepted. Some of them were imprisoned with no apparent reason other than being a Baha’i, some others even saw their own houses being burnt in front of their own eyes. Even after all these, some live with a Muslim ID card, some don’t have one- they simply

don’t exist. In their own land they have been living a life where their existence is being exiled.

in comment anwser about his photos he said that” putting captions to the photos. And I agree that it helps viewers to relate with the story as a whole. For example, the photo on the wall is a photo of Abdul Baha- son of Bahaullah, the prophet in Baha’i faith. Same goes with the photo of ID card which belongs to a Baha’i follower but it is written “Muslim” in the place of religion. This tells the story of the real life situation they have to deal with. Or you can say about the ending shot which is a photo of the video security servilance system installed outside the gate of a Baha’i family to alarm them from intruders. But I intentionally did not put captions to the photos. Because sometime it’s more about the feeling than the exact hard core “real” visual u see. Such as the blurred vision of the tree (image 04) or the fallen yellow flower gives u a feeling of the context. I hope i was helpful. Thanks a lot again for bringing up the discussion.

من هو قمر العابدين :


Quamrul Abedin (b. 1987, Bangladesh) is a documentary photographer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He started as a freelance commercial photographer on and off since 2009 because of his academic studies in Textile engineering and merchandising profession. He enrolled into B.A. in photography at Pathshala- South Asian Media Academy, Bangladesh on 2010 and finally switched to full-time professional photography since then.

Quamrul attended several local and international workshops such as (a) International Reportage workshop by Philip Blenkinsop & Max Pam at Cairo, Egypt in collaboration with Pathshala- Bangladesh, Oslo University College- Norway & Contemporary Image Collective, Egypt in 2013 and (b) Workshop on visual story telling by Morten Krogvold in collaboration with Pathshala, Bangladesh & Bjerkely Folkehøyskole, Norway 2011. His photos has been showcased in national and international photography exhibitions such as “Self-discovery” in Chobimela VI(2011) and International Inter-University Photography Exhibition (IIUPE,2012).

His photos have been published in national daily newspapers, such as- The Daily Prothom Alo and The Daily Star. His portrait photos for “Anannya Shirsho Dosh” book is under process for publication.

As a commercial photographer he worked for several fashion brands, corporate entities and covered numerous events and occasions.

“Quamrul Abedin is currently on the verge of graduating from Pathshala, working as a contributor photographer at T-mag- A supplement with The Dhaka Tribune- A leading english daily newspaper…” and working on his ongoing documentary projects
“Quamrul Abedin is currently on the verge of graduating from Pathshala, working as a contributor photographer at T-mag- A supplement with The Dhaka Tribune- A leading english daily newspaper and working on his ongoing documentary projects…”

 Corporate Clones”, “Silent Solitude” and “Institution of Marriage – Divine or Social” as well.

موقعه الشخصى :

Website: www.quamrulabedin.com

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2 تعليقان to “: Existence Exiled: Baha’is in Egypt”

  1. quamrulabedin Says:


  2. Smile Rose Says:

    thanks dear quamr for so nice article that didn’t diverse it \greeting

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