The most striking thing about visiting the refugee camps is always the unmistakable bright spark of hope that lives in the children. Despite all the hardship and unbearable living circumstances, they find the ability to play, laugh and be children.
Who stole the innocence?~ it seems that every bit of news these days uncovers a new scandal, a terrible lie or a gross misconduct by a person of authority. It is as though virtue and authority are melting away in a puff of disillusionment. Our only hope lives in the children. Can we please leave them uncorrupted?
Image taken in Goma, Congo 2009
I was going through my archives of hundreds of thousands of photographs as one often does, when I came across this image of my daughter when she was 4 years old running through the cedars of Lebanon and it made me catch my breath. She is now 13, and time has tricked us all again. How relentless it is, never pausing, never letting us catch our breath. It is always later than we think, isn’t it? So many unrealized intentions, how does one keep up with life, or should we at all?
Pausing and dreaming today in the moment of what was, what is and what will be…
Day 57 of 365~
Image taken in the cedars of God forest in Lebanon in 2008
When 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
They arrive to this earth relying on our coded ability to host them as they take human form. They are born tiny and helpless and it is up to us to support, care for and nurture them till they can care for themselves. They carry in them the promise and possibility of a better tomorrow. They are our most valuable assets. Why can’t we all put their wellbeing before that of wealth, power and greed?
Day 53 of 365~
Image taken of a child in the old streets of Kashgar, Xinjiang
Magic lives in every moment, all around us and it just waits to be captured. It’s as simple as that and when we are about to capture a moment we want to treasure, we just know it. We feel the magic as our finger presses the shutter and we just can’t wait to see the result because we are at that moment so sure that this moment was worth capturing.
On the love of photography~
Day 40 of 365~
Image taken somewhere in New York
It often happens to me like it did today when I come back from teaching photography to children feeling like they actually did all the teaching. I learned so much from how free thinking they are, how imaginative, refreshingly creative and flexible in the mind they can be. I may have showed them technique but what they gifted me with was freedom and unhindered possibility that comes form a future that is yet to take form.
Thank you Barbara Sarbin and the children of ‘something good in the world’ for the great opportunity of doing this photography workshop today in this magical ecology.
Day 25 of 365
Somewhere magical in Westchester, New York
There are now over 1.2 million Syrian refugees living in Lebanon in camps waiting for a better home under the care of humanitarian organizations and NGOs. The children carry the hope and strength of their whole nation.
Attempting documentary photography and not feeling compassionate love for people would be pointless as far as I am concerned.
I love feeling the humanity in other people’s eyes, to guess at what they are feeling, to lock eyes with them even for a brief moment, to be part of their world for the time I that I am there and later again and again through their photographs.
With each visit to Yunnan, my connections are deepened and I feel compelled to return. Simplicity is a gem in our complex world of today, a fountain of peace to a busy and crowded mind.
More soon from this amazing region of China…