Arab Ink, an ongoing photo documentary series about tattoos in the Arab world, aims to highlight the role tattoos are playing in the development of new styles of calligraphy.
The photo documentary, created by Jordanian photographer Bashar Alaeddin, also aims to tell the stories of the photographed subjects as it highlights the meaning and the impact the tattoos have on them.
"While Western media constantly reduces the Middle East to a religion-centric war zone, they fail to notice the linguistic and cultural similarities that unify Arab people beyond religious affiliation," the website says.
Though tattoos are now commonly seen in the region, especially among the younger generation, it is still an art form that is frowned upon and often associated with being disrespectful and disobeying religious and cultural norms.
Akram Al Deek, one of the subjects in the photographs, is trying to counter that very idea with his tattoos.
"I am a Ph.D. holder, and for us particularly, tattoos are taboos in the Middle East," he explained. "With my tattoo, I try to debunk these stereotypes."
"Tattoos have emerged as a new medium, not only for the art of Arabic calligraphy, but for a new generation of Arab youth who are searching for a means of defining their identity," the series site says.
Roba Al Assi, another subject of the documentary, explains the meaning behind her tattoo.
"'Kayan' means 'being,'" she said, adding that "the tattoo is a self-tribute to the simple notion of existence. Thou shalt die. It's actually a reminder of the simplicity of happiness."
Another unknown subject, who got the word 'patience' tattooed, did it to help with her anxiety.
"Dealing with anxiety every single day can get overwhelming. When I feel the world is moving at a million miles a minute, I need to remember to breathe. To patiently wait for it to pass," she said.
"Because battling with your own mind every single day can get exhausting. Because patience is the acceptance that things can happen in a different order than what you have in mind."
Moreover, Arab Ink renewed the love of calligraphy in youth and help inspire a number of tattoo artists and enthusiasts in the region.
Ghassan Assi, who tattooed "One Love" referring to his mother, said he thought Arabic calligraphy was beautiful.
"Arabic calligraphy is so dazzling to me that I didn't even contemplate getting my tattoo in any other language," he said.