It is often said the face is a canvas of the soul. One woman's journey of self-discovery turned into a journey around the country, searching the faces of other women.
Photographer Charney Magri launched her project titled Women of the UAE in the summer of 2010. She has since been on a solo mission to capture on film the inner beauty of the country's many different women.
"I started this project as part of a journey of self-discovery," she said. "It was all about inner beauty, as I had started questioning beauty because of my own background."
The Australian native moved to the UAE four years ago after having worked as a photographer in the fashion and beauty industry in the UK for nearly a decade.
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"I left England after working with some of the big names," she said. "In England they have a certain idea of what beauty is and there are certain types of women they will put on the front cover of a magazine and others they won't."
Magri therefore turned her back on a successful fashion photography career and first went to Africa for three weeks to photograph women in Kenya and Tanzania.
After the African project, Magri got to work on the UAE leg of her journey, which will culminate in a book launch and exhibition next month.
The Women of the UAE table book will initially run as a limited edition of signed copies set to launch on March 8 to coincide with International Women's Day.
The book launch and subsequent exhibition will be held at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray hotel on The Palm. "With all the women I've put in the book you can see they have a connection with everyday women as opposed to what we see in magazines," said Magri. "A lot of women you see in magazines and advertising create aspirations but they are not generally achievable by the majority of society." She has therefore aimed to portray the UAE's everyday women in her new book.
With approximately 80 women included, Magri aimed to capture women from all backgrounds and walks of life in the UAE.
"We tried to include everything we'd expect to see," she said. "We've gone across sections be it nationalities or sectors."
When the project was launched voting opened for people to nominate women to be photographed by Magri for inclusion. However, she also actively sought out people particularly when it came to Emirati women.
"I spoke to many people and asked them if they were to see a book about the people in their country, who would they want to see in it," she said. "A lot of them went for well known women but I tried to get them to see the other side - women who were more up and coming or undiscovered yet."
However, the journey of a self professed artist at heart, which began as a cross continent quest for inner beauty, has uncovered what could be one of the most important truths of all.
"Women have the same denomination and that is they have the same ambitions, drives and passion to get where they want to go," she said. "We all have dreams and goals, which may vary in levels, but the bottom line is we all have the same denomination."
Photographer to launch book on UAE project
Australian native Charney Magri is a painter turned photographer. She gave up working in the UK's fashion and beauty industry to embark on a journey of self-discovery. She went on a quest in search of inner beauty, which initially took her to Africa to photograph women in Kenya and Tanzania. Magri moved to the UAE four years ago with her family and has been photographing women in the country for two years. Her UAE leg of the journey will culminate in the launch of her book Women of the UAE and subsequent exhibition on March 8 — International Women's Day.