Laura Boushnak receives a special grant, in celebration of Getty Images’ partnership with Lean In, for her work titled I Read I Write, which explores the education of women in the Middle East. Collectively, Arab countries have the highest rate of female illiteracy in the world, which this project aims to address by focusing on highly-educated women who contend with limitations on the range of professions they are allowed to practice.

I Read I Write, explores the education of women in the Middle East. Collectively, Arab countries have the highest rate of female illiteracy in the world, which this project aims to address by focusing on highly-educated women who have had to contend with limitations on the range of professions they are allowed to practice. “I Read I Write”, is a broad, continuing project about education and women in the Arab world.

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Laura begins research by focusing on illiteracy in Egypt, but soon realized that a broader scope was needed. In Jordan, despite high rates of elementary school attendance, many girls drop out in their early teens. In Yemen, she followed women who were the first in their families to get an education. In Tunisia, she photographed politically active university students, and in Kuwait, explored educational reform.

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As an Arab woman who was raised, educated and has worked in several Arab countries, Laura sees this project as an opportunity to highlight the stories of the outspoken women, who are eager to be involved in the economic and political process.

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Find out more about the Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography