A young boy having a snack in a teahouse of Sanaa, capital of Yemen. He proudly exposes his new jambiya, the curved dagger carried inside the belt by almost all men in Yemen. He can't be much older than 14, the usual age when Yemeni boys are given their first jambiya.
Although the jambiya is occasionally used in fights it is nowadays almost entirely a symbol of manhood. It is purely an accessory and in most cases too dull to hurt anyone.
This picture from 1998 was scanned from a Kodachrome slide.
Critiques | Translate
ourania (31029) 2012-02-12 8:07
this is a very well composed portrait with wonderful colours and sharp atmosphere. I'm very impressed by the direct gaze of the boy, it gives a tangible intensity. He looks much younger than 14 and I hope that the jambiya will always serve him as an accessory.
A very successful portrait.
All the best, have a good week,
ChrisJ (97920) 2012-02-12 8:11
Good portrait of the Yemenese boy with excellent sharpness & vibrant color. Looks like a fascinating country to visit but the political situation is a little unstable there at the moment. Good warm cold color contrasts too. Tfs!
bayno (18342) 2012-02-12 8:13
a fascinating portrait, I like the tones, expression and the typical clothing with his dagger, scanning the old release makes it even more beautiful and lived,
yquem46 (38734) 2012-02-12 8:14
An excellent one, quite at contrast with the previous one, even though shot at the same period
I like its oldie look, the colors, the textures, the posture and attitude of the kid with its chai, a piece of bread in his hand and a traditional dagger at the belt
have a nice evening
dkmurphys (49292) 2012-02-12 8:19
Very picturesque portrait. A sad scene that reminds us that the poverty is still a problem.
Great work, have a nice evening.
prasun984 (5590) 2012-02-12 9:17
wonderful child portrait shot with nice chosen POV...like his calm expression towards camera...like his colorful outfit...
very good DOF controlled with nice light management...good color contrast & sharpness...
tyro (20454) 2012-02-12 9:22
An excellent photograph considering that it has been scanned from a 35mm Kodachrome slide. An interesting note too.
I remember discussing this sort of thing with an erstwhile colleague of mine who came from Peshawar in northwest Pakistan and he told me a similar story: young boys there when they reach puberty regularly carry knives or even firearms; it is not considered at all unusual and is simply considered the equivalent of girls of a similar age donning jewellery.
Apart from missing the very top of his head, this is an excellent portrait with good composition and fine vibrant colours.
leo61 (0) 2012-02-12 9:37
Another great scanned one.
I like his pose and the composition with the glasses full of chai and the details of the wall in the distance.
BennyV (13840) 2012-02-12 9:50
Another great oldie shared. Superb textures all around (including on the white basket shoe), excellent quality scan.
patdeph (35748) 2012-02-12 9:52
superb portrait of this young boy, and an interesting note.I also like the clothes and the textures and colors of the door and pavement.Excellent!
tusharkmandal (3171) 2012-02-12 11:14
This is some post. Great one. Love that expression on his face and that stance.
I sometimes wonder why don't you resume again with Films. They were the best of the best.
saxo042 (37564) 2012-02-12 12:26
You have captured his expression very well, it is quite obvious that he is very proud of having this big dagger. I guess he uses it for cleaning his nails and cutting the bread... Excellent colours!
Budapestman (82620) 2012-02-12 12:26
a splendid portrait of this boy with attractive composition and interesting details, great shot, Tfs! Have a nice Sunday evening! Kellemes Vasárnap estét kívánok!
siamesa (27741) 2012-02-12 13:56
Boa noite Gert
Very nice boy and his typical clothes.
Very nice expression in this face. Excellent photo.
adores (37069) 2012-02-12 17:12
Another great one from your trip! It's a wonderful portrait! I just love all the details and the pose of the boy. And you have done a good work with the scanner, colours and sharpness are very good!
SteveH (6239) 2012-02-12 21:32
Hi Gert, A real Yemeni image. No only the boy and his clothing and jambiya, but also the blue door behind him , the arabic script on it and the glass of back tea. very evocative. cheers, Steve
emka (78918) 2012-02-12 23:55
Very beautiful portrait of this young Yemen boy. Impressive eyes, he look so intense at your camera. wonderful colours, specially this blue wall with arabic letters behind. Fantastic moody composition.
CLODO (30256) 2012-02-13 0:19
He is proud of his new jambiya, as big as his chest, but still in childhood. Fierce look at you!
kato (11630) 2012-02-13 4:09
You're capturing well this boy by a good angle and excellent tone, so it's impressive to know the life of Yemen's boy, although it's partial. It seems to show a realizm of this country. Entire colors are excellent and keep good balance, too.
wolf38 (31280) 2012-02-13 9:03
Hello Gert. Here you show a very successful portrait of the small Yemeni boy. Rest, a glass of tea, something to eat. The traditional clothing and Jambia show, this is a Yemeni. I like the natural and relaxed attitude of the boy and his direct gaze into the camera. Really worth seeing. Rgds, Wolfgang.
vasilpro (40933) 2012-02-13 14:30
Beautiful portrait of a young boy, excellent POV and interesting details, very nice quality from an old scanned photo, TfS!
Have a nice evening, Vasilis.
batalay (35595) 2012-02-13 19:17
I like your incisive portrait of the boy coming of age, with his jambia in place over his heart. You've had to reach deep into your archives to give us this penetrating portrait of the proud young man, who by now is approaching 30.
Nicou (122006) 2012-02-14 1:29
fantastique portrait de ce jeune homme superbe quel regard qui en dit long avec son pain et le thé, image touchant et merveilleuse.
bravo et amitié
mesutilgim (84330) 2012-02-15 12:47
Hello dear Gert,
Amazing portrait of this boy Yemen !
Armored with a traditional dagger and enjoying his Coke !
Kids are kids everywhere !
TFS and best regards
skippy007 (12510) 2012-02-15 21:40
Hello Gert, This is a beautiful portrait of this young man, I wonder if the jambija is still part of their tradition, I would expect so especially in the more remote parts. Well captured, even back in 1998 you knew how to take a good picture :) Compliments. An excellent reproduction.
eldancer1 (27891) 2012-02-16 9:17
I've heard that all men carries dagger in Yemen but I didn't know that even young boys do. Nicely captured and good documentation of the daily life of people. Good dof with nice details. Well done, tfs.
Angshu (55669) 2012-02-21 8:06
A fine portrait, but a pity we can't see the jambiya well as he points it towards us. The glass of tea is a great addition to the left. A fine scan of this 13 year old slide
Waylim (25350) 2012-02-22 17:57
Beautiful daily shot and portrait, This boy is now a man with family and children now. I wish he could see this photo. Beautiful and nostalgic quality of film grains and texture.
Glint (6167) 2012-02-23 3:49
another charming image. I like your low pov and the way the boy looks into your lens in a solemn way. He msut be only just fourteen as he looks so young and child like. Lots of interesting details.
macjake (56582) 2012-02-24 5:44
this is one of those photos where the written note below is just as, or if not more important than the photo itself.
excellent capture, the look on the boys face leaves a lasting impression.
a true Cultural photo!
abmdsudi (43530) 2012-03-29 4:21
Fascinating image and you have captured an aspect of culture really well. I like the way the subject has been framed at eye level. The green door, the light and subtle shadows on his face give the portrait a 3D effect. This makes me go straight to his quite shy face but he looked rarther serious though, however you caught his gaze so timely and the dagger is surely a splendid prop. Fantastic deep colour and beautifully exposed. PP treatment is great for it has that 'high-pass' effect that really brings out the features splendidly. What a little warrior! This is another excellent piece of reportage photography, Well done
Hace a great day
anel (563) 2012-04-22 5:38
An amazing picture from your archives! I just hope that the dagger will remain an accessoir.. the boy is grown up now. Fine portrait, well framed and subtle colors too.
Thanks for this interesting posting
Tigerlily (3107) 2012-11-16 6:04
The colour and the tone are really good..it feels like an oil painting..The most I love of this image is the boy's expression in his eyes..
thebest (4276) 2012-12-11 0:09
What a wonderful portrait of this young boy... the colours of his dress apparel are very nice against the stone work.
Not sure about the dagger - different cultures!!! as you say they are more for decoration.
Great photo well done.
KristinsCamera (2373) 2013-12-13 16:47
these children with their world weary faces ... It's a beautifully framed shot, Gert, and the colors are lovely, but it still makes me a little sad to look at him. I wish children the world over could at least have a happy and optimistic start to life...
tatadalou (6083) 2014-05-17 4:42
Beautiful lightning on this young boy. Soft colours, grain and sharpness make it so great.