I clicked on Amira Al-Sharif's video a couple of months ago while surfing the Web for inspiration. Her story was featured on a website called Kickstarter — a site where pretty much anyone can make a video plea to get his quirky personal projects funded.

On the video she says: "I'm looking for your support during my year in America. My project will be documenting the lives of American women my age and to compare and contrast them with the lives of Yemeni young women."

Al-Sharif, 28, was born in Saudi Arabia and grew up in Yemen. She was the first person from her family who graduated from a university. And, in the U.S., she was turning her camera lens on us. That's why I wanted to meet her — I liked the idea of a Middle Eastern journalist flipping the script. It seems like it's always the other way around: Western journalists documenting Arab women.

"She's already been pushing the boundaries that were around her — and that was one of the reasons why we thought she was such a great candidate to bring to the States," says Stephanie Sinclair, an American photojournalist who has been documenting child-marriage issues for the past eight years. Al-Sharif was her interpreter in Yemen.

"She has that thing that you can't give people. You can't ever teach people how to get along with people. How to make them trust you — and she has that innately," Sinclair says.

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