While constantly reading and hearing updates about the Middle East, people all around the world hear about the government, the political sufferings, the violence, and the worldly effects. But, how often is it that the public hears about something from the point of view of the people? The farmers, the merchants, the children. The press is often censored or biased regarding the region, and rarely, if ever, is it made clear what every day citizens are experiencing on a day-to-day basis. In addition, the public outside of the Middle East never considers these people to be average or normal people who go through the struggles that most humans do. We only consider their struggles to be monumentally horrific regarding the violence and corruption surrounding them.
Brandon Stanton, the creator of the photographic blog on Tumblr, Humans of New York, documents the lives of the day to day experiences of the people of New York City. But, over the past few weeks, Brandon has partnered with the UN to better get to know those living in the area. He began his tour in Iraq and Jordan. Coincidentally, he arrived just when the just as the ISIS crisis began to unfold and experienced the fleeing of many civilians. While he takes photographs of the people in the area, he asks them questions as well. Sometimes the questions are broad, while other times he does not need to say anything at all. Most of the things people say can be brutal and heartbreaking, including a young man who was taken to jail and harassed by the Syrian government into confessing his murder of eleven soldiers, when truthfully he had not killed any. The UN’s goal was indeed to reveal the horror going on. But, sometimes when scrolling through the site, it is also demonstrated that some people in this chaotic land really do live an absolutely normal life. These stories of often not told in public media, but they do exist. For example, in Erbil Iraq, two teenage boys told Brandon that they wanted to be doctors, but like many young people, they were struggling with math. This proves that there is a sense of normality and minor struggles even within the chaos.
The inside knowledge about the people in the Middle East really provides the rest of the world with a sense of understanding. Humans of New York’s, Brandon Stanton, put himself in danger to unfold the true happenings in the region. He reveals many horrible stories, tragedies and truths, and really opens up the eyes of many outsiders. I think it is extremely important for those outsiders to look at the site and analyze for themselves what the information provided really demonstrates.
What does the information unveiled say about the Middle East?
How should the UN continue to interfere with the Middle East if at all?