Ayman Oghanna is a journalist and photographer who specializes in the Middle East. Half-British, half-Iraqi, he now lives in Greece. After earning an M.A. in International Relations and Middle East Studies from the University of St Andrews, Oghanna worked for The Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon, before leaving to study journalism at Columbia University in New York. He moved to Iraq in 2009 to begin working as a freelance journalist. He has since covered much of the Arab World. His stories, photographs and videos have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, Newsweek, National Geographic, VICE and Al Jazeera America. He is proud to be a founding member of the Frontline Freelance Register, dedicated to protecting and uniting freelancers reporting in foreign countries and conflict zones.
Ayman Oghanna writes of his three photographs on view at KB17: “I am exhibiting work from Iraq, where I began my career exploring my father’s country. My father left the country in the 1970s, Asir al Tahabi, the Golden Age. The Iraq I discovered, however, looked very different from the one he left behind, nearly having car-bombed, kidnapped and executed itself into oblivion. I’ve documented the country since the American occupation and Iraq has known little prosperity since, witnessing an endless cycle of violence recently manifesting itself with the rise and fall of the so-called Islamic State. Torn between opposing forces vying for influence in the Middle East, the country remains fragile, flawed and complex. These images offer an insight, however brief, into the country, its pain and its hope. Unfortunately, I do not think it will be truly at peace in my lifetime, however, I will continue to carry on documenting its struggle for a better future and bear witness to its stories.”