Photographer and writer Wessam Al-Badry (b. 1984, Nasiriyah, Iraq) examines Western consumerism’s influence on traditional Muslim Culture. When Al-Badry was seven years old, at the outset of what became known as the Gulf War, his mother fled on foot with her five children, including his three-day-old sister. They arrived at a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia, where they stayed for four years. In 1994, Al-Badry and his family were relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska. As a young man growing up in Middle America, Al-Badry fiercely felt the disconnect between his experiences in Iraq and the refugee camps, and his new American reality. His series, Al Kouture, reveals the tension between Occidental and Arab-Islamic ideologies. By tailoring and repurposing couture silk scarves into niqabs, Al-Badry investigates female objectification at the intersections of both male and market desires. In exploring the possibilities of assimilation in a vast and polarized world, Al-Badry asks his audience, “Would the Western World accept the niqab if it were on the racks of luxury fashion designers?”