The host of Lebanese television program Trends on the Arabic satellite station Al Jadeed commented on the photographs in a minute-long segment in 2013, noting that while some audiences encourage the artist’s work, others only see nudity. Although nudes are certainly not anomalies in Beirut art galleries—“protected spaces,” as Kahil refers to them—she makes no bones about the fact that amongst certain lay individuals, there has “always been a bit of a stigma” attached to them.
Despite the provocative nature of her series, Kahil was nonetheless surprised by the flurry of comments she received following the television segment. “In the beginning, I felt assaulted,” she says. “It was daunting; you’re the center of attention, you’re being contacted by people you don’t know.” To say “contacted” is to put things lightly: In addition to innumerable Facebook comments directed towards her on various news pages, the artist was also sent emails and contacted by telephone. Some called her a hero, and others, a “porn star in the making.” She was slandered, extolled, and even proposed to; and, although she was the center of attention, Kahil, rather than respond, took a step back. Instead she began to archive this feedback, “not initially knowing what [she] was going to do with everything,” she says, until the commotion eventually died down.