Karimeh Abbud: Entrepreneurship and Early Training
Karimeh Abbud
female photographer
Palestinian photography
female entrepreneurship
studio portraits

Palestinian photographer Karimeh Abbud has become an icon of female entrepreneurship in recent years. Yet, internet searches will yield distorted information that neglect her real story. Raheb sheds new light on Abbud’s family history, her upbringing, and career and how she had to negotiate her role at the intersection of colonialism, Orientalism, nationalism, Zionism, feminism, and Protestantism. Abbud’s biography is atypical of most Palestinian women of her era. Her story provides insight into the life of the urban, educated, middle-class Palestinian Christian community in British Mandate Palestine. Abbud has been recognized as a pioneer in photography and the first female photographer in the entire Middle East. Through her photographs, she made an important national contribution to documenting Palestinian life prior to the Nakba. The author highlights Karimeh’s role as a female entrepreneur who dared to cross traditional gender lines to enter and excel in a male-dominated profession that became an important and unique part of her life and work.

Author biography: 

Mitri Raheb is founder and president of Dar al-Kalima University in Bethlehem. Dr. Raheb holds a doctorate in theology from the Philipps University in Marburg, Germany. The widely published Palestinian theologian has authored or edited more than forty books and his work, including numerous articles, has been translated into thirteen languages.

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