Middle Eastern identity seen like never before. An exploration of youth and fashion. Candid intimacy and beautiful styling is brought to the fore.
Cheb Moha is a young stylist, designer and photographer living on and off in the Emirati metropolis. Born in Iraq, he moved to Canada at the age of 12. Having left Canada in 2014 to wander between Kuwait, Oman, Dubai and other parts of the gulf, he has been producing work surrounding his acute understanding of Middle Eastern experiences of social class, misrepresentation and refuge.
His style has secured him projects with brands such as Vans and The Hundreds. However, his aim is to create work that will support the region. It was a goal for Cheb to move back to the Middle East as he felt strongly about rediscovering his roots.
Currently in Dubai, he works on his personal photography, styling and art direction projects as well as brand consultation. The diverse creative has had his fingers in various creative expressions from designing ensembles for musicians to styling commercials.
The models for his work are often his friends. They regard the work that they create together as their form of reality-infused expression and believe that it assists in defining an authentic picture of Middle Eastern identity. “That traditional ideology about what Arabs should do, what we should wear, and how we should act — it’s all changing. It’s a good time for creatives who want to express themselves, because it’s still new,” he expresses in an interview with The Fader.
Cheb states that there has been complete misrepresentation of the area for the last 30 years. He has also emphasised that people from the region have not been producing creative work as they have moved out of their countries due to conflict. However, people are returning to their homelands and in the creative sector he shares, there is a lot of love and support for one another’s practices. They push each other to excel as they see themselves solely responsible for the representation of the area and their cultures. His primary focus lies in presenting what he finds beautiful about his country and his people and not to show that which has been made to be controversial or exoticized.
Cheb and his friends are helping grow a more well-rounded understanding and perspective of what it means to be a young person in the Middle East today and are breaking down commonly held stereotypes of what people believe Arab people should dress like and be like. Sparking a revolution with intimate images made from the heart.