Al mashriq - The Levant

Marilyn Stafford

Silent Stories

A Photographic Journey through Lebanon in the Sixties

Saqi Books 26 Westbourne Grove London W2 5RH, 1998
ISBN 0 86356 099 7

Bride on her 'throne', Bekaa Valley

Weight lifting, Sidon

In the early sixties, Marilyn Stafford spent over a year in Lebanon and became fascinated with the country and its people. She travelled extensively, journeying to the most remote villages and recording scenes of everyday life.

This album is a selection of 140 of these outstanding photographs. Although there are some architectural scenes and views of towns and villages, the main focus is on the Lebanese people and their way of life: shopkeepers and souqs, weddings and religious festivities, cafes and night life, fortune tellers and street urchins.

In her personal account of a vibrant society, Stafford reveals a land of contrasts - an intricate blend of east and west, tradition and modernity, which gave Lebanon its unique identity.

Stafford's work is far more than a nostalgic remembrance of a Lebanon that was. It is a beautiful and evocative photographic record of a society that is often misrepresented and misunderstood. Even without the war, this book would have been an important contribution to the illustrated modern history of Lebanon. Now, it is an invaluable document in its own right.

The album is prefaced by the renowned Lebanese poet and novelist, Venus Khoury-Ghata.

Marilyn Stafford is an internationally renowned photographer whose work has appeared in prestigious papers and magazines throughout Europe and the United States. Her portraits include Indira Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Alberto Moravia, Sir Herbert Read, Luciano Berio and Italo Calvino.