What makes you want to take a photograph?
"It could be a personal feeling, something I'm emotionally going through, or it could be a shared feeling. A very good example of that is my work in Tahrir Square and Egypt in general. I arrived with a lot of mixed emotions about my own identity, how I fitted in. I felt like there was a sense of identity I had to reclaim somehow and went out onto the streets kind of looking for emotions that expressed that feeling."
Do you know what a project is going to be about before you start working on it, or does it gradually evolve?
"It definitely gradually evolves. I always have a sort of idea of why I'm doing a project, but the larger picture isn't really painted, except gradually as I go through it. However, titles always come at the beginning of the work, which always point me back to what I'm saying and why I began it."
Which of your projects means the most to you?
"They all speak to me in different ways because they all relate to my background, but I think In the Shadow of the Pyramids is the one I'm always going to have to put out there. That's partly because I'm Egyptian, partly because of the historical moment and because I witnessed it. It also really established me as a photographer and when people think about me, this is the work they relate to."
Is it difficult for young artists to stand out in a competitive world?
"It's definitely very competitive and very difficult. It takes a lot of commitment and it's also not financially rewarding, so it's about how do you create a life for yourself where you're doing something you're passionate about. However, today there's a lot more opportunity than there was when I first started, in terms of grants and funding, as well as platforms on which you can engage with people and build an audience."