Here is a little taste of that:
I have been in between floods where rain was so intense that it nearly suffocated me. I have weaved through body parts left from a bomb blast trying my best to respect whatever was left of them. I had forced myself to capture in my camera the sheer narcissism parading on the red carpet that got its money and status by pimping out young women to older men.
I had to tune to out the wails of a mother asking me to photograph their sons who were beheaded and try to tell their story in a “tasteful manner”.
I have seen the city turn into a warzone, armies that look more like the armies of zombies armed with weapons dangerous enough to tear down the whole city in the name of their leader.
I have been directly and indirectly shot at, countless times. I had nearly squashed in between a building collapsing.
Then I had to photograph the men and women who lavishly profit from all of this.
If it wasn’t for the other people in the field with me, I would have been dead. They pull me out and get me to safety when needed while I tried to frame a shot.
When your job is to report a story to the public it is all you are thinking about. It is not inhumane but you forget you can get hurt sometimes and you forget that you’re in the middle of a chaos around you.
Photojournalists do not just hold a camera and click, they capture an image and the story behind it – the way they see it and when the dust of deadlines and social media outrage settles you are all alone with those images.
I could tell you a lie and say I cry every night thinking of all those people I have photographed or that I see them in my dreams. Maybe some experience this but I didn’t.
I just know that I cannot sleep at night because fireworks leave me shaken and Bakra Eid is a nightmare because the smell of openly slaughtered goats is similar to that stench that flooded my brain once. I am paranoid sometimes, I am skeptical of people and I secretly loathe those who sponsor the events where I feel alone and overreach for someone who is not looking at their phones or the television.
Because those devices trigger me, they are the reason all those stories including mine are manipulated, controlled and then forgotten.
But I am alive… Allah has given people who have tirelessly and still do try to give me a better life.
There is one thing I can do, that I am certain about, through my experiences. But I need help of the public to do so.
You can help by doing this:
– Stop banks and companies from sponsoring fashion shows or other events.
– Celebrities and businessmen who you adore should be asked why they are hanging out at some parties where a table of cocaine is laid out by people who earn money through your glamour adored and invested in by fans like you. I’m sure you know by now drugs lead to more crimes and gang wars. The more money they get the more they use it for self-entertainment, to encourage prostitution, pay low wages etc, all in the name of networking.
– Boycott high priced bridal wear or fashionistas because your eyeballs and money pays for them to fraternise with the corrupt.
– Before you say not all of them are that morally corrupt, ask yourself if staying silent is not equally as bad? Maybe you or your firm don’t care but we all know that one woman who does.
Other than this, what I could do is I had a brand and I made the decision to stop ever marketing again locally because an image never goes away.