"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard

Portrait #2—The Fruit Vendor

Posted in 50 Portraits Project (2013), Photography, Portraits by matt on Saturday, January 12, 2013

A fruit vendor near our house

A local Fruit Vendor, Kurdistan, Iraq

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A year of 50 posed portraits with only one light; a project designed to improve my camera work while blessing the people I encounter. You can see older portraits here, read the rules of the project here, or leave a comment below with your feedback.

Sidewalks, Dead Cats and Sunsets

Posted in Day-To-Day, Photography by matt on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sunset over Suly

Our office sits midway up a hill. After work each day, I walk to the top and turn left to make the 7 minute walk home. I don’t really remember ever making this walk. I can’t tell you much about what is between my house and the office. I may as well have teleported every time. But on this evening I glanced to my right before heading home.

This is a photo of the kind of stuff I’ve been missing. After looking right one day, I noticed the sunset looking more beautiful than usual. So I took this photo.

But I’ve come to realize it’s often this beautiful, I just wasn’t paying attention. I also noticed a dead cat on the sidewalk the day before this, but I doubt many of you hate cats as much as I do so I went with the sunset.

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The Langa

Posted in Day-To-Day, Photography by matt on Monday, October 10, 2011
Two super-happy guys in The Langa

See how happy these guys are to be working in The Langa?!

If you walk past the big mosque, into a small produce section and then hang a sharp right before the sweetshop, you’ll find yourself in a truly magical place.

Cayla making ice cream!

Cayla making ice cream!

Cayla says it’s called “The Langa” which I think in Kurdish translates as: “magical-land-of-delight-where-unicorns-are-born.”

It’s a perennial garage sale minus all the stuff I hate about garage sales. No crowds of psychotic people pulling hair and calling “dibbs on that whole table” at 4am. No impossible-to-find residential locations. It’s always in the same, labyrinth-like maze deep within the bazaar, which gives it an insider feel. Like a super-hip club for old ladies.

Cayla has harvested numerous goodies from The Langa: a popcorn maker, all kinds of super-nice, name-brand clothing (most things cost just a dollar or two), and loads of other stuff. But the best thing she’s found to date was an ice cream maker. My crazy, cooking genius-of-a-wife has now whipped up 5 pints of homemade ice cream, and every pint is more incredible than the last!

For the first time (ever?), I actually look forward to shopping. I run out of steam after about 10 minutes, but that’s still 10 minutes more than ever before. I can’t wait to see what we’ll find next!

Afternoon Prayers at a Local Mosque

Posted in Photography by matt on Thursday, September 15, 2011

Afternoon prayers at the Baxtiari Mosque in Sulaymaniyah

My Favorite Spot in the Sulaymaniyah Bazaar

Posted in Day-To-Day, Photography by matt on Monday, September 12, 2011

The produce section of the Sulaymaniyah bazaar.

The Suly bazaar.

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