Born in Jordan to a Palestinian family from Bethlehem, Lily Bandak is the only Arab-American photographer whose work is in the permanent collection of the White House (Images of Egypt). Once the personal photographer of Jihan Sadat and the King and Queen of Jordan, she established the photo-journalism department at Jordan’s Yarmouk University in 1983.
In 1984, the Paris and the Antonelli College of Photography-educated Bandak was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Since then, she has made it her mission to help others with disabilities.
At a 2008 speech before His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and other distinguished guests, Bandak said, “In my day to day life and travels throughout the Middle East and North Africa, one thing that keeps me going is the hope that one day I can bring the knowledge and implementation of the services that I have benefited from to the Middle East, the region of my birth, to help the people here with disabilities get the same chance if not better than what I experience in the West.”