For this project I visited my school and others across Turkey, where girls ages eight to 19 spend up to four years trying to memorize all 604 pages of the Muslim religious text. Some of these boarding schools provide secular classes, but the main focus is on learning the Quran, a traditional practice dating to the time of Muhammad. I wanted to document it—not only the discipline required to become a hafiz (one who remembers) but also the way girls retain the essential nature of youngsters. I hoped to create a nuanced look at a rarely seen and often misunderstood segment of society.
Through vignettes of daily life—the daydreams and the quiet rebellions, the trivial moments and