Arab American photographer Lily Bandak was born in Amman, Jordan. She has received an education at the Academie De La Grande Chaunier in Paris, the Philadelphia College of Art, the University of Delaware and the Antonelli College of Photography. She has lived in America since 1960, residing in Newark, NJ.
Lily Bandak, at one of her shows in Lebanon with Mrs. Nazek Hariri
This world renowned photographer has been granted such prestigious assignments as personal photographer of Mrs. Anwar Sadat and the King and Queen of Jordan. She has also photographed Yassir Arafat and Mrs. Hariri. In 1978 she was invited by the Egyptian government to document Egyptian culture by photographing its people and monuments. Her work was displayed in Egypt and all over the United States. Her work was later compiled into a book called Images of Egypt. Her work was also accepted into the permanent White house collection by President Carter.

By the 1980’s her work was internationally acclaimed and was being seen by millions of people. In 1983 she started the photojournalism department at Yarmoulk University in Jordan, where she also taught.

In 1984 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which forced her to stop working. She searched for cures in many countries; she even sought acupuncture and herbs in China. Unfortunately her searches for a cure failed, and she doubted ever bring able to return to photography. Just when all hope was lost, she learned of a federal program which allows the disabled to return to work through technical advances. She used a very sophisticated camera mount that would attach to her wheelchair, allowing her to resume photographing in the field.

Not long after this, she established the Bandak Foundation, which helps the disabled by finding ways for them to enter the work force and become integrated in society. The Bandak Foundation is planning to establish an Assistive Technology center in the Arab world. Their goal will be to promote, assist and develop funding for handicapped children and adults who use assistive devices.

In 1995 she returned to the Middle East for the first time in over a decade. She still travels there often to photograph and collect artifacts for her popular exhibits. She hopes to inspire others that are disabled, to show them that dreams can still come true for those who are handicapped.


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