February 8, 2023

Meet Maha, Oxford House's Heritage Trainee.

Maha’s Diary – Introducing Maha…


We are so excited to have launched our brand-new heritage project called Through the Lens. Over the next two years we will be exploring our 140-year history through the experiences of women, young people and our local Somali Community. For the first time, we will be sorting through our archives, digiting our collections and showcasing lots of historic material. We will be commissioning new exhibitions (including Women of Bethnal Green at Work) and an new photographer 1970s photography exhibition. Alongside this, from Spring onwards we will showcasing the next generation of young British Somali artists as part of our Creative Café Series. A Young Person’s Guide to Bethnal Green will see local school children exploring local history and telling us about the places that matter to them. Finally, will be plenty of talks and creative projects for all ages to take part in across the project.

This project has seen our staff team grow! We have appointed our first ever Project Archivist and Heritage Trainee (who you’ll hear from below!)


Greetings Oxford House friends,

My name is Maha Shami. I am an Artist and the Heritage Participation Trainee at Oxford House. My mama is Bahraini, my Baba is Pakistani, and I grew up in Wales. My favourite foods are Mango’s, Olives, and vegetable Lasagne.

My Oxford House Diary uses reportage illustration. Reportage is a type of visual documentation where an artist’s captures a moment in time. This is where I draw from life to document what is happening around me at Oxford House. Using a visual diary allows me to express my thoughts and emotions. I write to do lists and make sure I keep track of what needs to be done at work. I have a passion for storytelling, and I want to share that with you. Here’s a board, a self portrait and a photo to start!