Sunday, 4 October 2015

Photos I Shot That Brought Tears To My Eyes


Our life is made of up of captured moments frozen in time. Things shared and time spent together become the memories which the heart and soul never forget.


I. I captured the above photograph in May of 2011 during the Japanese Cherry Blossom week in High Park in Toronto. The old Asian man kept his hand on the tree for over five minutes as his partner/daughter, and myself, peacefully watched.

The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years. For them, the cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It is a spiritual reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short. There are tales about the power of those trees in granting wishes.

I actually sensed I was witnessing some profound moment and that's why I felt the need to capture it on camera...from afar, and without intruding. I think he might have been ready to reunite soon. My eyes were all watery by then.

Your Only Disability Is In Your Mind

II. When I left Egypt to Canada I was regaining my health afters years of leading a toxic lifestyle. My 20th floor view in Toronto overlooked a tennis club with four courts. One sunny morning on my first month there, I was in the balcony and I could see a young boy on a wheelchair playing tennis with a trainer. That was such a shocker at the time. Because in Egypt, for example, you don't see people on wheelchairs in the streets, at all. Simply because the streets are not equipped for wheelchairs. Here, the young boy was not only out of his house, but he was playing tennis outdoors and enjoying that beautiful day.

I couldn't hold myself so I took the camera and went down to get a closer look. I didn't want to cause any awkwardness by photographing the boy, so I started taking shots all over, as if that's what I was there for. The photo above is the best one I could capture from behind the fence. 

This was quite a profound moment for me. Because it made me think of how I had my full health, yet I willingly chose to screw it up. And others, who aren't as fortunate, are not giving up on life and are actually playing sports. It was a genuine reminder that our only true disability is in our minds.

Glory To Utras Ahly

III. The sign reads We Won't Forget You” in Arabic. This view is at the entrance of Al-Ahly Club in Cairo, Egypt and those are the photos of the 72 Ultras martyrs, mostly teenagers, who were brutally murdered after a soccer game several years ago for siding with the revolution against the military regime.

At the time this happened, I was far away in Canada. Taking part in some demonstrations in Toronto and my humble words
were all I had to offer. So seeing this face-to-face when I went back for a visit in 2013 was an intense experience which brought a lump to my throat.

The massacre took place in February 2012 and until today the real culprit, as whoever gave the orders to kill those teenagers, remains unknown. The case has probably been dealt with”

The Final Straw is an except from an unpublished note which I had written about the whole thing.


IV. During a camping trip in Ontario, Canada we came across a heard of cows. We stopped the car
and I took the camera and went down for a closer look. Apparently I wasn't the only one who
was curious. This cow, probably the leader, was the one that came closer. For a minute or two,
I felt that my soul was being carefully inspected

As you can see, the herd was standing back, away from the fence. Through some peaceful, gentle body language it must have felt I was safe and meant no harm. It then turned around to the rest
and signaled to them that it's OK to join.
Once they all came closer, I began with some intuitive communication before I started shooting
This special moment of connection — my first with cows left me ecstatic and in utter awe with
a few tears rolling down my cheeks. Since I never got as emotional while performing any
other activity, this is when I knew I had to keep shooting for Life. A few years later, the happy tears came back while drumming. 
Another sign from down deep inside within my soul.

Happy Mike

V. I first met Mike at the Venice Beach Drum Circle some months ago. I knew he was into singing, but because it's usually too loud there, I never had to chance to really listen. Yesterday as I was strolling around the Venice Boardwalk with the camera, I heard an angelic, soothing voice, and it was none other than Mike. What a sweet soul.
By the time he was done with the song, I could feel my eyes get watery. Check out the Video and see for yourselves.


World Art Through My Lens

Some People I Shot 

Some Animals I Shot

Tripping Through Venice Beach Art 
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