Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Second Lady, Dr. Jill Biden

I made these photographs of Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of US Vice president Joe Biden, on assignment for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She was speaking on behalf of their efforts.

Thanks to Jon Madigan, 'Smitty' Connolly, and the AFSP team for their giving me this opportunity to serve.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Rosa Parks 102nd birthday celebration - Beyond the Bus/DC

My dear friend Ella McCall-Haygen invited me to a program celebrating the 102nd birthday of civil rights heroine Rosa Parks, held at the Panorama Room of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Anacostia (this location offers the best view of the city imaginable by the way).

There were displays of historic photographs and artwork, with presentations by Dr. Roberta McLeod and Ms. McCall-Haygen from Pathways to Freedom and others, and special offerings by the estimable Ms. Hannah Hawkins, director of the nearby Children Of Mine Center. The young participants in the program gave forth original poetry, and created scenes from Ms. Parks' life, that honored her work, and the work of her husband, Raymond Parks.
Dr. Roberta McLeod
Ms. Ella McCall-Haygen
The future

Mrs. Hannah Hawkins

Friday, February 06, 2015

Jerusalem: Fiddler by the wall

Hasidic klezmer musician outside the ancient walls of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem | Science Museum, Museum on the Seam, walking home

These photos were made at two extraordinary museums in Jerusalem; the Science Museum, which had a thought and eye-provoking exhibition on light and shadow, and the Museum on the Seam, which presents cutting-edge politically-focused art.

We then began our twi-lit way home on our last day in the city.

Jerusalem: Views, pilgrims, friends

Walking: late afternoon in Jerusalem. We encountered large numbers of extraordinarily friendly Nigerian Christian pilgrims (it was Christmastime, and they were eagerly shopping as well as visiting the ancient holy sites), climbed the YMCA tower to get overviews of the city (something I had never done before), and saw a now-permanent street memorial to the eight people killed in a bus suicide-bombing in February 2004 (At the time, I had photographed the original homemade shrines - memorial pictures and flowers woven into the fence in memory of those slain in the attack on Emek Refaim Street).

That evening we had dinner with my writer-collaborator Carol Grosman and her husband, Moshe.

Old City, Jerusalem | Sami Al-Jundi and Jen Marlowe

I visited my friend Sami Al Jundi, and had a nice surprise in also having the pleasure to meet with one-person human-rights dynamo and documentarian, Jen Marlowe.

I met Sami and Jen years ago when they were both staffers at Seeds of Peace.

They co-created a book together The Hour of Sunlight, about Sami's experiences of transition from prisoner to peacemaker. It is one of the finest autobiographical life stories I have ever encountered, movingly written,. It compellingly portrays Sami's history, struggle, and great heart. I recommend the book highly (its a gripping read, too), as a way to understand the complexities, tragedies, and possibilities for avenues of hope and peace in Jerusalem - as honestly told by someone who has deeply lived it.

Jen runs Donkeysaddle Projects. It's well worth checking out her brave work promoting democracy and human dignity around the globe, and for honesty and fair treatment of prisoners in the United States. Jen's a whirlwind of good energy, a true freedom worker.

After a pleasant time over tea in an Arab cafe, Ruth and I visited with Sami's family in their home in the Old City, where his roots run deep. The hospitality was warm, and his family was kind and welcoming. Shukran. شكر

Blessings to all. And may there be peace. Shalom salaam.