Photos from the Yasser Alwan Collection – in pictures

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The photos date from the 1920s through to the 1950s, although some are much older. Most likely, all the subjects – and the photographers – are dead, which is why they were thrown out, to be sold in flea markets and ­second-hand bookshops. Alwan’s collection has now been acquired by Akkasah, the Centre for Photography at New York University Abu Dhabi. Akkasah can mean camera in the dialect of the Gulf, with its roots in the Arabic word for reflection.