When I first arrived in New York City, I felt like a stranger. I
felt lonely. I was living in a small apartment in Brooklyn with three other
photographers—Rico from the Philippines and Mostafa and Owise who, like me, are
both Egyptian. We were too busy to get to know each other very well.
Then COVID-19 hit, and we found ourselves in 24-7 lockdown
together. It was not easy for us not to go out; as photographers, we were not
used to that. Then, it got worse, when Mostafa and Owise got very sick with
virus symptoms. Our lives became consumed with worry and fear that something
bad might happen to them. Luckily, they started feeling better and our lives
fell into a rhythm, consumed by Zoom calls, talking with friends, and attending
Locked down in the same
narrow space, we still had different ideas, different dreams, and, each one of
us, our own problems. Yet the pandemic has drawn us closer. We now have a
shared history of survival and taking care of one another, of time spent
watching movies, working out, and celebrating life. It has been sweet and it
has been difficult, but we have gotten through it together.