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human rights morning coffee talk Photography refugees war

Daily Coffee Talk~ 83/365

On the third day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, my mind goes back to my experiences with refugees and the misfortunes of war.

I am finding myself unable to disconnect from the shock of seeing this happen in front of our eyes again, the war, the pain, the destruction, the displaced people and most importantly, children having their childhood stolen from them.

The pictures shown here are from the Syrian refugees that I photographed back in 2013, and back then, I saw a side of humanity that I was hoping I would never have to meet again.

Here we are in 2022, innocent people and their children subjected to tragedy because of ego, the strive for power and an unfathomable greed that lives in people like Putin.

The world does not need more refugees, we do not need more pain and confusion, humans have the right to lead a happy, productive, and full life with the chance to be who they are meant to be.

Who gives others the right to take that away? What kind of essence fuels wars? Will history keep repeating itself to the detriment of the human race and this planet?

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Daily Coffee Talk~ 77/365

Sometimes my mind goes back to when I was a small child and I can for a split second reconnect to a time of pure joy.

Those were moments when all that existed was the present. Time had a different nature to it. It did not threaten me with the future or blame me for the past.

Is that child that lives in a state of pure joy still there somewhere? How many complex parts come together to make us who we are today?

I want to be that child again even for a brief moment every day.

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contemplations inspiration morning coffee talk myanmar Photography religion street photography

Daily Coffee Talk~68/365

Monk with umbrella~ Myanmar

Today I spent a larger part of the day driving around with my daughter from home to school to extra activities, home and school again. We have come to call Monday the ‘fun day’ partly sarcastically because of all the driving, and partly because we never know how it will unfold.

On the last one of today’s drives we both realized that we forgot to eat. This started a conversation that took me to my memories of meeting the Buddhist monks in Myanmar, in Cambodia and in Shangrila amongst others. One of the special things I discovered was that they only ate one meal a day.

Of course they do have their reasons and the discipline they adhere to, but this made me realize how much time we spend obsessing about food , our choices, the preparation, diets and the rest of it.

A dose of simplicity sounds right from time to time, doesn’t it?

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Daily Coffee Talk~ 63/365

Those moments in the street~ Istanbul

Hi from another one of a series of gray rainy days in Germany.

So many things keep drawing me back to the streets with my camera and we are now going on over 25 years!

One of those things is a memorable moment, where everything comes together to encapsulate a memory. A smile, a story, a writing on the wall and the experience gets encapsulated in an image, never to be forgotten.

This image was take in the Tarlabasi area of Istanbul.

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Daily Coffee Talk~ 61/365

I am still traveling through favorite moments in photography today and these images stand out.

During my travels through Yunnan, I often had a Polaroid camera with me to make instant photographs of people and mostly the children that I could offer to them as small gifts.

This process caused a huge amount of joy and fun at the surprise of seeing their images appear as if by magic and at times like this as in the second photo, an attack of little people trying to get their hands on the magical device, my Polaroid camera 😂.

But as a traveling street photographer, this is a great way of bringing the distance between you and local people you are meeting for the first time and trying to photograph them in a short time window.

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Daily Coffee Talk~ 57/365

fading memories~

Hi again, I almost forgot how fast projects like this go when you start them and how merciless time is…

How much of your childhood do you remember? For me it is short salient moments of intense emotion, some life changing moments that left permanent scars, or pleasant memories like the smell of my swimsuit when my mother took it out of storage for the first trip to the beach…

Why are we designed to forget? It could have been easily tweaked that we remember everything, couldn’t it have been? I do understand the need to forget pain, but what about everything else?

And most importantly, if you do believe that this is not your first life, then why do we arrive here empty?

At my age you sometimes forget what you’ve set about to do moments ago, so this memory thing needs some thorough investigation, don’t you think?

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children contemplations Germany inspiration morning coffee talk Photography

Daily Coffee Talk~56/365

Hi from a cold German Evening,

The world feels more and more alien to me with every passing day. 2022 is proving to be an even more intense transition into a changing future than the years that preceded it.

What kind of world are we leaving our children? They are a generation that was born and grew up in an accelerating age of technological advancement and an ever narrowing focus toward screens and social media with less and less connection to nature and its wonders.

How will they reconnect to what matters the most? How can we guide them towards a more harmonious, connected and natural state of affairs?

Maybe winter weather , shorter days and exploding covid numbers are promoting these thoughts and contemplations, but they are real and dominate my thoughts.

Good night from here and I hope you wake up to a bright new day full of promise and change to the better.

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contemplations inspiration Malaysia morning coffee talk Photography street photography UAE

Morning Coffee Talk~ 31/365

What does the future hold?

Good Morning,

Tonight we say goodbye to 2021 and walk into 2022 with caution and wonder at what it might be holding.

The intense events seem to be getting only more intense, the uncertainty less certain but the hope and wonder is always there. Hope is there in the first moment we open our eyes in the morning to a clean slate after another planetary rotation, it is there in the stability and constancy of every sunrise, in every flower blossoming, blade of grass growing and in the wonder, innocence and hope that live with every uncorrupted child on this planet.

I wish for us all to move with strength, hope and resilience into this new year and with more thought and care for our amazing hospitable home, our blue planet.

Image was taken yesterday at the Dubai Expo, Malaysia Pavillion.

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Morning Coffee Talk~14/365

Leap of faith~ Boracay

Good Morning,

I remember as a child playing with friends on terraced hills above my village in Lebanon, and we did this crazy thing of jumping from one terrace to the next (and these were high terraces), screaming something ridiculous in Arabic like: ‘my mother threw me and the Virgin Mary caught me’. We were very devout children trained well by aunts and grandmothers to fear a god who punished bad children and saw pretty much everything were did. So we trusted that if god or any of his saints were watching, then leaping was 100% safe and we would not break any bones.

Two broken bones later, I started to doubt this theory.

That feeling of invincibility that we all have as young children is certainly something to reconnect to when needed later in life. That faith that somehow all would be well and that sometimes a blind leap is exactly what is needed despite our great fear of the unknown.

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celebrations children Germany inspiration morning coffee talk Photography

Morning Coffee Talk ~ 6/365

Good Morning!

It is December 6th, and in this part of the world, a very important visitor appears to bring the Christmas spirit to children around Germany.

Nikolaus (who is not Santa), but a  (Sankt Nikolaus or der Heilige Nikolaus), who was probably born around 245 C.E. in the port city of Patara in what we now call Turkey. Very little historical evidence exists for the man who later became the Bishop of Myra and the patron saint of children, sailors, students, teachers, and merchants.

He is credited with several miracles and his feast day is December 6, which is the main reason he is connected with Christmas. In Austria, parts of Germany, and Switzerland, der Heilige Nikolaus (or Pelznickel) brings his gifts for children on Nikolaustag, Dec. 6, not Dec. 25. And yes, ‘ das Christkindl’ still comes with more presents on December 24th! 

Children clean their boots and leave them outside the door for Nikolaus to fill them with goodies, nuts, oranges and small gifts (if the children were good). There is a lot more to do with this tradition that is fascinating including the scary devil looking characters that travel with Nikolaus to frighten the children, but those are mostly skipped in our home.

hThe images were taken last night from home and the quiet neighbourhood, and it seems that Nikolaus upgraded from boots to basket on this occasion.

Happy Nikolaus day to you wherever you are… 

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