Middle East : Multiple Realities
     This group of photographs almost didn’t happen.  After my photographic journey through the Middle East, my external hard drive with all my photographs on it was confiscated while going through security at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel.  The security personnel said they needed to run some tests on it and would return it to me soon.  A week of anxiety later, I finally got it back, but it did not work!
     While vacillating between extreme depression and blind rage, I sent a plea to all my computer savvy friends.  Eventually, I found a data recovery specialist and one month later got my photographs back, none the worse for wear (Thank you, Drivesavers.com).  Now, on to the project itself.
     This experience began when my wife received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach in Jerusalem.  After landing in Israel, I immediately started to explore with my camera; as I photographed, I began to see that part of the world in a completely different way.  I sensed a huge disconnect between the images I had seen in the mainstream press and what I was experiencing in the Middle East.  I realized a lot more happens in that region besides bombing and shooting; some of it whimsical, some of it serious, but all of it woven in a much richer and more subtle tapestry than that portrayed by the media in the US.
     At some point, I was moved to make a visual statement to act as a counter to the stereotypical image America has of Israel and the Middle East.  Through these photographs I hope to challenge the viewer to change her or his view of this region, just as I was challenged and changed my perspective.
Copyright Jim Haberman 2017.  All Rights Reserved.