Future Unknown~ Xinjiang

Future unknown~ heartbreaking news coming from Xinjiang about China holding over a million Uighur muslims in re-education centers for the purpose of removing their #faith which they label as a virus. History keeps repeating itself and we humans never seem to learn. Their most recent tactic is breaking up families whose strength and cohesion they perceive as a threat to future China.

Story here

Romanticizing the killing machine~

romanticizing the killing machine~ ChinaWhen faced with a hot issue in the world like guns and the recent school shooting, it is a good idea to look at the simple facts. What are guns? Why do we have them? How did it all begin?

The simple truth is that they are human fashioned killing machines. That is their sole purpose, a metal object designed to project at strong speed another metal object with the purpose of puncturing the body of another human or animal and to cause injury or death. That simple fact should halt all arguments about having them with children, near children or having them at all.

I listen the news about Syria and all the children that died in the least week to benefit a recent group of arms dealers who benefit each time there is conflict and who thrive from the misery of the less fortunate. They try to romanticize the issue and muddle it so we won’t comprehend, but it is very simple, isn’t it?

Power, greed, wealth and the personal need for self gratification without counting any cost.

Day 55 of 365~

Image taken in a back alley in Shanghai, China

Don’t hold back the future~o

As I began to write my blog tonight, I received the breaking news notification of yet another horrible school shooting in America. How tragic to hold back the future by cruelly eliminating its ambassadors. Whatever the cause, whatever the trigger, how can this be prevented?

How unnatural for a life to go before it’s reached its potential!

Day 45 of 365~

Image taken in India

Them too~

The amazing speech of Oprah Winfrey at the Golden Globe awards is still resonating in me today with its powerful and poignant attention to the issues that women of the world face today and how it’s more than ever time for a radical change. She caused me to think of all the stories I have heard throughout my life growing up in Lebanon and feeling fury at the roles women and girls were forced to adopt. In some places in the Middle East women can be legally killed if there is any “suspicion” of adulterous behavior. Dead before proven innocence is the way to go.

I am thrilled for the amazing women in the entertainment industry and their #metoo campaigns, but who is fighting for the rights of the forgotten women in places like India, Africa and the Middle East among many others. It’s #themtoo.

I took this image last April in the slums of Delhi where girls hide behind doors and windows and hesitate to shine in the glory they were born into.

Day 8 of 365

The Complex Web of Greed~ Lebanon

Lady on her balcony in the area of Borj Hammoud, Beirut

Lady on her balcony in the area of Borj Hammoud, Beirut

I left my native Lebanon to New York City back in 1987. The war was still raging and the political and economic situations were highly unstable if not volatile. Today, almost 27 years later, the Lebanese struggle with rationed electricity, unstable economic and political situations, living on the brink of another war, receiving a flood of refugees from another neighbor and the only difference from then to now is how much thicker the pockets of our political leaders are getting. Corruption is their religion and money their God. How will the web of greed be ever dismantled?

a future we never bargained for~ Shanghai

pollution~ Shanghai-2 pollution~ Shanghai-3 pollution~ Shanghai-4 pollution~ Shanghai-5 pollution~ Shanghai-6 pollution~ Shanghai-7During the last few days, Shanghai was submerged in a large cloud of gray pollution that seemed to call over terms like ‘apocalypse’ and ‘end of days’ from many of its residents. A look of worry shrouded everyone’s face and all conversations centered around the same theme: the toxic smog. It felt so bizarre to walk around in a dark city with masked people and alarmed eyes everywhere you looked. The pollution was literally off the scales (over 500) and no comforting answers anywhere as to when and if it will end. Now, a few days later, it has dropped to 195, still an alarming number in any country, but here in Shanghai, it calls for a celebration. What kind of world are we bringing our children into? What levels of abuse are we subjecting our planet to in the name of progress, money and power?

 

harsh realities~ Qibao

a life she drifted into~

a life she drifted into~

a rough start at life~

a rough start at life~

In Qibao, and old area of Shanghai, is a neighborhood(if you can call it that) of green lanes. Confronting realities wait there behind each door and in front of some where young women prepare to sell themselves for a living. As much as this practice is as old as civilization itself, it remains heartbreaking to witness people’s daughters going through this to survive. And most painful of all was seeing a little girl forced to grow up in that strange world of green lanes.