Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Children


I love taking photos of the village children out here. They get such a kick out of seeing themselves in pictures or on the screen of the camera. The countryside children, while financially poor, have lots of good fresh food...no junk food here...clean air and lots of room to play outdoors with toys that they have to make themselves. Not such a bad life.

9 comments:

brattcat said...

Such beautiful children. Thank you for sharing this shot.

Paddi Sprecher said...

I love the children because in the village they are allowed to be children. They still explore the world with wonder and imagination.

In Real Life said...

Little Darlings! So sweet!

Dina said...

While I think it's a beautiful picture, and they're very cute children, it most certainly is a very misleading comment.

Female children in Egypt's villages are frequently abused and brought up in a terribly patriarchal system where they learn to be 2nd class citizens as if that's their only option, and do not get a chance at a fair and free life. If you think they're mostly carefree kids who get to "explore the world" or have a good life, you are so very wrong. I can't judge the kids in this particular picture - perhaps they really are living a good life, but I speak from a knowledge of Egyptian culture and society in general.

But I guess that's a lot more pleasant to imagine than reality.

Merri said...

always the beautiful smiles of the children : )
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

Dina, if you read my comment you will note that I don't say anything at all about the appalling schools in the countryside, the fact that most of the girls will quit school before the boys, or that they will likely have to deal with the mother-in-law bootcamp that rural women are subjected to when they marry. I live out here and am good friends with the villagers around me so I do know.

What I do say is that they don't have the pollution of Cairo or the crowding and that they are not dependent on someone's salary or lack of it to provide food...and in this respect they are much luckier than the urban children. Especially since the schools aren't any better in the cities, nor are the mothers in law any kinder. Not at all the same.

r l n ! said...

me, too. Taking photos of children is fun and easy...they smile so naturally, no need to pose them...and their hearts come right out, expressed in the shine in their eyes and their smiles. i'm looking forward to going back to Naselesele village with my digital camera (finally got one!) and taking their pictures. You must have a lot of heartfelt fun showing them their pictures right off your camera...

Mia said...

Love your pictures... you bring the feeling of Egypt to us. .. and one thing I particularly noticed on my visit was how happy the children were. Dirty faces, rolling in dirt or playing with an old tire, but laughing, joyous and carefree - and always well watched over by any and all adults nearby - related or not.

And LOVING to have their pictures taken so they could see them :)

Thanks for sharing these pictures. They make my heart feel good :)

Dina said...

While I'm glad that you are more aware of things than my initial impression, I have to disagree again with just one part of your statement. Public schools in urban places *are* much better, despite being still pretty miserable. At least the kids learn something.

Kids in rural places do not learn much at school because they are given the answers to all the questions in exams on the spot. I personally know kids that moved to Cairo from the country side in Fayyoum, and fail miserably in Cairo's free schools because they are not educated to the grade they are in. Also, there is less cheating (there's still plenty of it, just not someone publicly going in and announcing the answers in all exam rooms).

http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=324991871950&ref=nf

Have you seen this video where they interview kids in a school in Sinai? The kids in 7th grade couldn't SPELL Sinai in Arabic (it's 4 letters!). They couldn't multiply 30 by 2. These are ~11 year old kids. I am pretty sure that in urban Cairo, kids who go to school and make it to 7th grade certainly know the answer to those questions despite the terrible schools (I know many people who do go to the free schools in the worst neighborhoods in Cairo).

It makes me want to cry for my country.