The new spring issue of World Vision’s magazine, Childview, has been mailed out and if you are one of the people who get it in the mail you will see a whole host of images I took.
Some of you may know that I went to the West Bank a few months ago, beyond it being an area of the world I have always wanted to experience, it was also very eye-opening to see the situation in the Middle East, from the Middle East. I will not pretend that because I have been there I am now an expert in Middle Eastern politics, because there is no way I can understand the situation between Israel and the West Bank/Gaza strip and the rest of the region unless I am a resident of any, or either, of those countries. However, I will say this; it is easy to judge the situation over there from over here when there is an ocean in-between you and them, it is easy to judge who is the good guy and who is the bad guy when each side seems to be representative of the global conflicts of religion and empire. I quickly figured out that there is no easy answer and to condemn one side and praise the other, or come up with reasons why one side can defend and the other cannot, is bypassing the real issues. Really, I don’t believe it is impossible for people of opposition to live together, but I also don’t believe it is easy. In this case, deep-seeded political divisions and thousands of years of history get in the way of the ability to make decisions toward a solution that doesn’t involve launching missiles at each other.
Anyway, enough of my attempts to solve a huge problem with political correctness, and lack of knowledge. The family we met and spent time with on our trip was truly amazing. They graciously allowed us to delve into their lives to see where they work, where they go to school, how they spend their mornings and evenings, what they cook, where they do their homework, and just generally see how they live – which was a fascinating experience. As a photographer, this excites me because the more time I spend with a person, a family, or within a situation, the better photos get. People get comfortable with me being there and forget I am there taking photos. I become somewhat invisible and this allows me to see the real life of a person. Check out the photos and take some time to read the article, I am sure you will learn something.
FAITH IN ACTION
Apart from the main story we did on Madlen and her family. We did a small segment called Faith in Action. In this case the story is about Jack, a World Vision employee who was also our guide and translator (he knew everyone everywhere we went. On a weekend in 2002 while Jack was attending the University of Bethlehem he went home to visit his family and while there was apprehended by Israeli authorities and thrown in jail for two years. His charge was participating in political activities that could threaten the state of Israel. Take some time to read about Jack, he is an interesting individual with an interesting story.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the photos, and the stories.