I'm a New York based photographer working on documentary and commercial photography . I feel it is essential to document this moment in the US while expanding my visual language to incorporate more video and experimental work.
Nour Eldein Zaki holds a stone with a natural formation that bears what appears to Arabic script. It reads: "Allah! There is no god but He."
Nour is a geologist, a scientist who knows how rocks are formed. There are many formations that he can explain as made by nature, and others that he can explain as made by man. But if the formation is so rare that it can
Said, a caretaker at the Sultan Hanafi Mosque in Sayeda Zeinab drops a bucket through a trap door in the floor. The keepers of the mosque say this well connects to an underground river that reaches all the way to Mecca. So the water has the same taste and blessings as the Zam Zam water from the al-Haram Mosque. During the week people from the neighborhood stop by for a bottle of the blessed water, on weekends and holidays larger groups stop by and drink directly from the bucket.
Mossad Hanna washes his leg in the holy water of well as he has done almost every day for 2 years. Mossad had a clot in his leg blocking 4 arteries and went to 4 hospitals who told him he needed an amputation he couldn
Sheikh Ali AlSabat prays over a boy who has problems sleeping, the procedure was efficient, a consultation, a prayer, and a verse from the Quran written on a sheet of paper. The father should boil the paper into a tea and have the boy drink it for full effect. Sheikh Ali AlSabat said he deals with many kinds of issues, but lately the majority of the problems have been about marriage because
About 6 months after the Moulid Abu al-Hasan ash-Shadhili I visited the Rifaai Tariqa in Dishna. One of the men who had built a pyramid on Mount Humaithera asking for a house was actually building his new house.
Every Friday a large numbers of people visit the Seven Daughters in Bahnasa for blessings. The location is well known for helping heal back pain, or to get pregnant, or find work. The land is holy because there are many companions of the prophet and mujahid killed and buried nearby. At the shrines of seven daughters, it is said they were Coptic girls helping provide food and supplies to the army of Islam during the siege of the city. The were eventually killed by their own people when they tried to run away.
A member of the Burhaniya order participates in evening Dhikr at the Moulid Abou Al- Hassan Al-Shazly. To Sufis, dhikr is seen as a way to gain spiritual enlightenment and achieve union (visal) or annihilation (fana) in God.
In an empty lot of 10th of Ramadan small groups gather between the piles of refuse. Most are digging and collecting sand. Over the past couple days news of the fragrant sands spread across the city and reached Cairo. There
Every Friday the men go to the small mosque for Friday prayers and women sit under the tree that bleeds. They wait until the end of the sermon then light small fires and swing their children over them 7 times. Many of them are looking for answers to their problems of mental afflictions, fertility issues, or accidents like a concussion after falling down stairs.
After climbing to the top of Mount Humaithera people stack stones and ask God to help them travel to Mecca or build a house. The Moulid of Abu al-Hasan ash-Shadhili occurs annually in the eastern desert. Abu al-Hasan ash-Shadhili predicted his own death when leaving Alexandria on the Hajj in 1258, he fell ill at Humaithera and died so today Egyptians make the trip to Humaithera if they can
Sheikh Nasr ElDeen drips what he calls blood from a tree over a girl in Dishna. The Sheikh claims that the tree only bleeds Friday and Monday each week. On Fridays many people gather around the tree with syringes and napkins trying to suck liquid out of any cracks. The sheikh says that the reddish liquid can cure many maladies.
Fathar Saman holds exorcism services every week at the Simon the Tanner Church in Mansheyat Nasr. Beside the sanctuary there is a room filled with the wheelchairs and crutches of people who have been healed.
Women line up their babies to be baptized at the Jebel El-Tier Moulid. Many families visit the moulid to pray for children, then return the next year with a child. The room for baptism has so many babies that they are done in batches on an assembly line, one priest takes the oaths, another priest dunks in the water, and the last priest blesses with oil.
Wadi Malaha is a well placed oasis, but bedouins don't harvest dates or built homes nearby because it is haunted. A few hundred years ago a man was hunting in the desert near Ras Sheitan and stopped at an oasis that had sweet water. He saw the footprints of a tiger in the water so he stayed there and ate some dates. The next year he passed by the same oasis and saw that the date seeds had become trees. On returning home he told his sons the good news. Many years later his sons needed dates so they went to gather them at the oasis their father had mentioned. On the first night the younger one had a bad dream of a ghost saying "Don't cut down the dates or I'll kill you". He woke up, looked around and didn't see anything so he fell asleep again. He heard the same warning from the ghost and he woke up again, didn't see anything and thought maybe he was sleeping in a bad position so he moved a bit and feel asleep again. The ghost came to him a third time and said this was the last warning, he woke up and couldn't sleep again. In the morning he told his brother, who called him a child and easily frightened. He left back to the beach but his brother ignored the warning, climbed a tree, fell and died.
While working on news stories in Egypt I heard other stories of modern miracles that intrigued me, so I started keeping a list. The list grew to about 50 miracles, interventions in the physical world, or blessed locations. Over about 6 years I tracked down these stories to their sources and made photographs along the way.