Myriam Abdelaziz is a French photographer of Egyptian origins. She received a BA in Political Science, a Master in Journalism and an MBA. After 7 years of work in the Marketing field, Myriam left the corporate world to fully dedicate herself to photography.
She graduated from the International Center of Photography and has been based in New York since 2005.
Her work was published in The National, Raw Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Eyemazing, Adbusters, Courrier International, La Republica del Donne, La Dominica di Republica, Tecknicart, The British Journal of Photography, American Photography and was featured in solo and group exhibitions in Europe, the Middle East and the USA.
In 2009 the Magenta Foundation named Myriam one of the 25 Emerging Photographers in the USA.
Myriam is currently mainly working on Documentary and Portraiture stories in Africa and the Middle East. She speaks fluently Arabic, French and English and is available for domestic and international assignments.
When most Egyptians think of child labor, the image that comes to mind is of a young, dirty-faced mechanic’s apprentice lying under a car to help his mentor. Although the picture may be heartbreaking, those kids could be considered among the luckier child workers compared to the majority of children who work under extreme and dangerous conditions.
The working conditions of child labor in the quarries of Menya are much harder and dangerous, as the children working there have to handle primitive and very dangerous stone cutting machinery. The hazards caused by the blades and defective electric connections occur daily and often lead to death while the dust they inhale develop severe respiratory and pulmonary diseases.
With the huge economic crisis the country is going through, knowing the dangers of such activity, families still send their children to work there as they have no other way to survive.
The children of Menya drop out of school to bring back home less than $15 a week; they work from 4pm to 3am in summer and from 7am to 4pm in winter.
Ali, a kid working in the Menya’s quarries remember “a boy my age came to work here just as I did. He used to put bricks together. One day he just dropped dead.”
Official child labor statistics in Egypt vary, but it is estimated that there are between 1.3 and 3 million children workers