“Hajjaj’s work plays with and upends stereotypes, the power of branding, and the familiarity of everyday objects, applying a ‘street-wise’ approach to his layering of influences, items, and cultural signifiers to imbue the work with an electrifying tension. His confident, upbeat portraits of young women wearing veils and djellabah while posing on motorcycles subvert preconceived notions of Arab women; his subjects are traditionally clad but defiantly modern, bearing bright smiles and the markers of youth, independence, celebration and fun. As Kelly Carmichael writes in her 2010 essay in Contemporary Practices, “Hajjaj’s approach is to toy with the perceptions of Arabic culture and the relationship between East and West, recasting iconic images and allowing shafts of 21st century light to reenergize the encounter… [while] his practice on inclusion and contrast rarely offers just one aesthetic of theoretical opinion.”
These photographs do well in making you think, as a western audience about the stereotypes portrayed through out our society about middle eastern women. It smashes those stereotypes in a few photographs, showing you a side to Arab women that is not usually seen.