Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Seattle Libyan Students

Well, here we are, yet another blog added to the interwebs.

It's been quite awhile since I last penned an entry— Fall of 2010 to be exact, when I kept a blog during a 4 month trip in Europe— but it feels good to be "back in the saddle" so to say. On this site I will post samples of recent work, stories, as well as photographs. Without further ado, here's an update on my most recent project:

In May I attended a talk at Shoreline Community College (SCC) hosted by fellow students whom I had never met before. They were to speak of their own experiences in Libya— a country that has just emerged from civil war and now faces the task of installing a brand new government— while also touching on what they hope to see for the future.

Mohammed, Nadine and Logina each shared stories and insight that cast a very human light on an issue that, otherwise, has been pretty doom and gloom in the media. Their passion was evident and I felt like it would make for a compelling feature.

3100 words, 3 photos, a few weeks and a bunch of phone calls later, here are the photographs and final spread that will run in the double truck of SCC's summertime issue:

Shoreline Community College student Nadine Bejou, 22, is the founder of the TEETH Project (Together we Educate Enhance and Transform Health) which aims to teach young Libyans about proper dental hygiene. During the summer of 2012, Bejou will travel to Libya where she will team up with dental students at the University of Benghazi to continue her project.

Mohammed Rajab Fadil, 20, looks out the window in the apartment he shares with two roommates in the Northgate neighborhood of Seattle, Wash. on May 30, 2012. Fadil, originally from Benghazi, Libya, put his studies on hold at Shoreline Community College so he could return to Libya where he spent two months fighting alongside rebel forces against former dictator Muammar Gaddafi's army.

Shoreline Community College student Logina Abukhashim, 25, practices her English during a morning intermediate ESL class at the school on May 30, 2012. Abukhashim, who has lived in Seattle, Wash. since January of 2012, was forced to leave her native country of Libya after the uprisings closed the university in which she was studying medicine. 

Now that this is finished, I can fully turn my attention to my upcoming Asia trip. I leave on the 27th— still so much to do...