only two things keep me on facebook | part I

2014, Culture, Inspiration, September, Travel

well actually, three things. but as i’ve mentioned before, facebook often gets my goat. then one of these things pops up on my newsfeed or i get an email and i remember that i don’t want to leave.

today i share with you the first.

1. humans of new york aka HONY

brandon. that’s all i know him by. but he left his high flying chicago job to focus on something he loved. photography. it started off as just portraits of new yorkers, then he moved onto doing short interviews with questions like “what is your greatest fear?”, “what is your happiest memory?” and “what’s your greatest struggle right now?”. read more of his story here.

the interviews and portraits of the new yorkers made me realise a couple of things; we are all going through something, we are all not that different and humans, humanity, it’s a beautiful thing.

recently brandon embarked on a HONY UN world tour. so far he’s been to iraq, jordan, kenya, democratic republic of congo, uganda and he is now in south sudan. HONY was already a place of enlightenment, laughter, perspective and so much more for me.

and now. now, i don’t even know how to describe it.

it’s a kind of beauty that seems so impossible that i just sit and marvel at it’s existence.

i really wanted to share some of his work. along with the interviews. so here are a handful, i can’t even say “of my favourites” because they all are.

{the following images and interviews are from and it’s facebook page, i do not own them}.

“We live in a very conservative culture, but I want my children to be open minded. I try to bring them to as many places as possible: big malls, art galleries, concerts. We want them to see as many types of people as possible, and as many types of ideas as possible.” (Erbil, Iraq) 

“She raised us on her own. So when I graduated, I viewed it more as her accomplishment than mine.” (Amman, Jordan)

“My grandmother remembers the Arab world much differently than people view it today. She remembers a place known for its music, innovation, and intellectual abilities. I may be naive, but I want to help work toward unity in the Arab world– both between our countries and within our countries– so that we can get back to that place again.” (Amman, Jordan)

from this picture my favourite comments are:
“Pulitzer, Oscar, Nobel, just give this man a prize already. This page deserves everything.”
“In just a few days these photographs have done more to humanize the Middle East than forty years of US media coverage. Thank you HONY.”

“What is your biggest dream?”
“To have my own house. With two stories.”
(Kasangulu, Democratic Republic of Congo)

“What’s your favorite thing about your brother?”
“He does all the work.”
(Limuru, Kenya)

“When they don’t think I’m watching, they do the funniest things. They are always dancing together. I found them in the kitchen yesterday, pretending to cook.”
“What’s your greatest worry as a parent?”
“Their health. They’re always getting sick from the cold and the dust. Sometimes the dust gets so bad, they lose their voices.”
(Nairobi, Kenya)

“Do you remember the happiest moment of your life?”
“One day, I was sent home from my final exams because my mother had not been able to pay the registration fees. On the way home, a man came up to me and asked what was wrong. ‘Nothing,’ I told him. He asked me again. So I told him that I’d been sent home from school. He then gave me the money I needed to take my exams. I’d never seen him before, and I’ve never seen him again.”
(Entebbe, Uganda)

“The thing we need most is security. Without security, nothing works. We are only out here playing chess because right now, in this place, we have a little bit of security. But that’s just for right now– just this moment. In this country things have never been secure for long. In America, there is always security. And that’s why America works.”
(Juba, South Sudan)

there are calls to turn HONY into HOPE, humans of planet earth. i agree.

and a pultzer prize, a nobel peace prize or something of that nature to brandon.

go to the HONY website or the facebook page. click ‘like’ or follow along. you won’t regret it. promise.



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