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Photographer's Note

This boy was not shy, he just seemed to think it was a hilarious idea to pose like a woman wearing a niqab.

I think they are grandsons of this lady who was sitting by the house next door watching over them.

It is not obvious in my posts but the boys and the Lady in Blue live in an affluent street, like many other streets in Sulaymaniyah. I didn't take pictures showing the whole street but I have photos of details of the houses two of which I will include in WS.

I uploaded this image yesterday and then deleted it by mistake later.

That post was not originally meant to be controversial, neither it was to serve as tribute of any kind. But halfway through writing the note I looked at TE gallery and found Klaudio's brave critique which was the only voice of reason I had come across since the 7 January. I support his views with all my heart (full text of that discussion). While I am extremely saddened and appalled by the news from Paris I also think that there should be limits to freedom of expression when it hurts other people's feelings. In the modern society we want to be regarded as, there is no place for US and THEM divisions.

Today my mood is slightly different. Now that Kouachi brothers are dead I can't but think about the future of the two brothers whose photo I took during a stroll along a Sulaymaniyah street. "How can you compare the innocent youth to cold-blooded murderers?", I hear you ask. Well, every adult was a child once.

Iraqi Kurdistan has been, for a decade, an island of peace and religious tolerance on the turbulent ocean of the Middle East. It is a place where the Christian minority live among the Muslim majority enjoying mutual tolerance and respect.

Should it stay that way, these boys may join the Peshmerga forces and fight to defend their little country. Spend their lives killing other soldiers and maybe die young. However, if the situation in Kurdistan gets worse, for example if it loses its independence, they could end up as political prisoners, persecuted and tortured. Or torturers. Or maybe terrorists.

And what if the polictical climate in the Middle East changes completely and the region starts enjoying freedom and peace? Judging from the rich household where they live, they will, most probably, become doctors, accountants, lawyers... Or, who knows, maybe journalists.

saxo042, CLODO, federico has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Kasia Nowak (kasianowak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1388 W: 6 N: 2578] (14478)
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