Day 7~ March 7th~ Egypt

That child I met in Egypt

Like so many other developing countries, many children in Egypt have to work to make a living. On my journey to Egypt I met and communicated with so many children and for some reason, it is these encounters that stayed alive in me till today. Children’s eyes can tell it how it is, the truth. Their gaze is penetrating and they are able to establish a connection with you and to tell you stories without words.

Going through my archive of slides and film, I saw this photograph and despite the 15 years that passed since the day I took it, I felt as though I was there now, locking eyes with this boy, seeing him stare in defiance at my lens, and remembering how later he broke into a wide smile when he realized I spoke his language.

Maybe the reason we love photography so much is the fact that it can encapsulate a memory, to store a moment in time with all that surrounded it, in the same way that a statue can, or a painting, or a work of art. One thing I am sure about: when I looked at this photograph, the Egypt journey came alive in me. I wonder where this boy who sold trinkets is now…

Day Three Hundred Nineteen, December 7, 2011

when color takes you back

Does it happen to you sometimes that you may see a color, smell a certain smell, or hear a specific tune and they act as a trigger for memories that were long dormant in you? Funny how our life experiences are never really gone, but are somehow stacked neatly in the archives of our mind until something happens to wake them and bring them rushing to our conscious awareness…

Today I visited Lea’s school for a Christmas afternoon celebration, and seeing their class colored pencils stacked there neatly took me back with a jolt to a small class room in the North of Lebanon and for a moment I could smell the old pencils, my desk with its worn out wood cover that could open and close for us to keep things inside and that mostly smelled of old sandwiches, the room, the chalkboard and the village breeze that brought with it the aroma of the olive groves through the open windows.