Hafiz – In between religious classes, young girls in Islamic dress play hopscotch, sing, exchange confidences and ride the merry-go-round. These are much needed moments of relaxation in the face of the heavy responsibility that falls to them. Educated far from their families in Koranic boarding schools reserved for girls, these young Turkish girls have undertaken to memorize and recite the 6,236 verses in Arabic of the Koran, of which they aspire to become the “guardians (hafiz). Aged 8 to 17, they will dedicate three to four years of their lives to achieve this goal.
Back to these schools, with a Hasselblad camera in her hand, that Sabiha Çimen discovered her artistic voice.
She captures students in various Koranic schools throughout Turkey, simultaneously weaving her emotional narrative through vignettes collected from the musings, banalities, quiet rebellions and melodramas of youth.
Second edition released in 2023, signed edition
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