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TEDxNile - Ahmed Hayman - 04/01/2010

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i was thinking for almost two weeks about what to say today then i found out that i was gonna say that i was thinking for almost two weeks about what i was gonna say today i'm a photojournalist i personally used photojournalism to go to many places and see many people i photographed many things, court halls, disasters, people smiling and people crying dying people and even after they died, i almost shot everything Egypt is full of beautiful places but yet full of disasters and poor places many haven't seen the good places or the bad ones everyone just look at his level and at their lives only that's what i have seen around in Egypt many of us have their own problems and life to worry about and hardly think about anything but how to finish work and go home after a long day to sleep and wake up early to go to work again, and it continues like this as a photojournalism, i'm telling you, Egypt is so beautiful and full of magical and interesting places despite anything, Egypt will remain beautiful because it has great thinkers and doers Beautiful places like this one for example, this was taken in El Menya city no one saw the beautiful places in El Menya, this one was taken there, very natural scenery this one was taken in El'Max at night this one was taken in Assiut City this one was taken in El'Max too please slow down the slides very simple people, and natural scenery those are just photos i shot, everyone look at the down sides of Egypt and complain about it and forget to look at the beautiful places No, i'm telling you, there are many, many beautiful things and places in Egypt but the problem here is that, people should learn how to see learning the settings of a camera is very easy it is very easy to just learn the settings, shutter speed, buy a pro camera put it on a tripod and start shooting people and calling it pro photography and everyone will be happy about it you have to see, with more than your eyes not only on your level, but lower and higher talk to people, observe and learn from them, figure out what they are thinking about socialize with them, feel the way they feel however their social class is use your brain, and learn this one was taken in El'Max, i almost was living with the fishermen, i went there with my boss i felt seasick, and got tired i wanted my idea about this photo to be different my camera almost got wet that day i wanted to show in my photo that how hard these fisherman work and we just eat the fish they get as easy as this whenever we want to no one ever think about how hard they work, and how they feel seasick till they got used to it because this is what they do for a living this one has been taken in Arish it was about the " The trip of the Holy Family in Egypt" i had to get inside and get wet to take the photo everyone say, a very beautiful photo but just remove this man from it while this man is the most important thing about the photo because, the photo lacks a soul there has to be a man, or a shadow or traces the human is very important in photos specially in photojournalism Egypt has a lot of great places and people in this photo, a group of photographers like me, you and those who keep shooting their flashlight on my face they're from Alexandria exactly from El'Max, a very poor sector they told the poor people there that they're gonna take photos of them and then show it to them later, to draw smiles on their faces the people didn't believe them and was like "Whatever!" they didn't believe but the photographers printed the photos and payed all expenses from their pockets and established this hanging photo gallery the only purpose of this gallery is to draw smiles on the faces of those poor people whoever has a photo, he can take it and keep it, the aim was to make them happy you can't imagine how happy they felt this day this is hanging gallery, very simple as you can see the idea was great, i met those photographers in Facebook i was checking their portfolios in a group, i liked their work and added them during work, i went to this village called Al Ayat, and met this woman in the photo her house is 1 small room, you can't call it a house actually very poor place and houses, they're honestly poor they really don't have anything or money i asked this woman in the photo, " what do you wish for? " she replied " i wish for water, i wish for a bathroom" those poor people don't even have bathrooms personally, if i wish for something, i wish for a new lens for my camera, or a memory card but those people don't even have water, they can't get the basic thing for living, water or bathroom, this woman has girls as my age when they wanna go to bathroom, they hold it till the dawn to be able to do it in the fields to have some privacy we're in 2010 by the way but the problem is that, no one can notice or feel these poor people the woman was so embarrassed while crying and having the urge to tell me " i'm not asking for hard or impossible thing, i just wish for a bathroom" i felt really aweful this is her baby the symbol of innocence, a baby means a sweet laughter and joy while playing with he can't feel the flies all over his face i can't even bear it, i just wanna imaginary remove it now from his face the flies are inside his mouth but he can't even feel it, he's peacefully sleeping he's in a world of his own, a peace of mind those are humans like me and you i uploaded those two photos on facebook right after i went back home i was so depressed and couldn't believe what i saw that day even though i have seen much worse than this those people were born like this, they have never been rich or even normal before it's not like they came from another city then became poor no, their whole family and ancestors were poor too, they have been poor for more than 50 years they don't even have electricity, still using gas lamps till now i put these photos on facebook, and in just 4 days i collected 6000 Pounds 6000 Egyptian Pounds in 4 days from totally strangers, people i have never met before a totally random girl gave me 2000 Egyptian Pounds, so i asked her " what for? i don't legally collect money and i'm not working for a charity organization for this cause? why do you even trust me?" she replied " because i have great feelings that you're gonna help these people i was speechless and i thanked her a lot i took the money and went to the poor people, to check that the process is going alright and all the permissions to dig are granted people greeted and welcomed me and were so happy and though i was a foreigner or some kinda super hero or an alien from another planet who was gonna save the day they made me tea and was very friendly with me again, kept treating me like a super hero who just helps people i met the guy who is granting the permissions and his coworker told me that usually the permissions takes months to be granted but they're gonna do it specially for me because i seem like a nice guy i said "thanks but please we need to get this done" then he told me " i'm very sorry but the woman who has to sign the permission is not here, please come again tomorrow" it takes 1 hour from Cairo to go to this village so told him " i'm not gonna come back, we have to finish it today, these people need water TODAY and i have the money from donators" however, the permissions were granted. they took measures, they started to dig we bought the water pipes those are the workers while establishing the pipes all of this took place in exactly 8 hours again, while digging the pipes to reach the main water pipe the weather was cold, a nice photo of a kid warming up this is my favorite photo, after completely establishing the water pipes inside their house the little girl didn't want to take the photo and give an OK hand sign this is the baby, the one with flies on his face on the previous photo the mother was so happy and kept crying and said she was gonna give all her kids a bath she didn't believe that she finally have water inside her house the father told me while the workers were digging " you can go rest now sir, go home rest" so i replied back " IMPOSSIBLE! i will only leave when i see the water coming through the tap with my own eyes" i put the new photos on Facebook, the photos after the pipes have been established so i got more responses specially from those who didn't participate with money last time everyone was happy and supportive about the idea the main idea of the project is not about taking photos of poor people to make you feel pity and pay money to help them no the main idea is to take photos of those who can pay, to get a professional portrait you take this photo on a CD right away, with your professional shots with only 20 Egyptian Pounds and if you want more you can pay you take the CD, you only pay 20 Egyptian Pounds that will go to the project to establish water pipes to more poor houses in many villages and poor sectors places.. hmmmm ....... i mean poor places we talk to people in the streets, we convince them with our presentation skills and our negotiation skills, we meet new people you'll love your photo, and they'll have water in their houses this was an example, and we successfully established the water pipes but this example, is not fixed yet, we haven't established the water pipes there yet this village has more than 500 houses with no water we started our project with one house and it worked one of the things we do to get money to the project is that we give lectures to teach people photography you learn something good,and at the same time the money you pay will be used to help poor people our friends in Alexandria give lectures too there, and collect money to build roofs to poor houses our project here is about establishing water pipes the main point of our project is that, whoever has a talent or job it can't be only for himself or for directing the lights on him or his talents it has to be for a higher reason this is my personal opinion, everyone has to see what they're good at, or talented with to use it to help the society, we can't just rely on the government to do everything, we have to help too we have to help ourselves by helping them and those poor people we can't just watch it without participating i believe that i was born for a reason, of course there is a reason I'm pretty sure i was born for a reason!!!! thank god at least i made sure about the reason i was born for i can take photos so why don't i use this to show you those poor people who want our help or even more, why don't i take professional portraits of you and with your money i can help them? some tell me " i don't look good in photos, but you can still take money" i tell them " No thank you, i don't need money" not that i don't want too but you have to get something in return the point is, no one has a bad photo, it's just bad photographers who takes those bad photos slight smile, move your head a little bit to the left, hold this guitar with you, then *flash* then you find out that you look terrible in the photo you have no idea how nervous i was before coming here on stage but thank god its going well, so far this woman in the photo is blind, and when we visited her she had her pants all wet she's 91 years old, she has no bathroom or water or boys to help her, just her girl who takes care of her she cooks for her, do you know what do they eat? chicken legs, not the part that has meat, i mean the part with these things we throw the girl opened the cooking pot and i couldn't stand the smell coming out of it for them, chicken legs is like Shish Kebab they eat old bread with these chicken legs this is her anyway, it's the break time now, when you get out the hall Thanks to TEDxNile the allowed me to start my project here it has already started, but whoever is interested to take a professional shot now we have a background banner, light boxes and equipments you're gonna take your photos on a CD with 20 Egyptian Pounds don't say " i look ugly in photos" because you don't we'll be out there, if you're interested to take your photo now, please feel free to come thanks for listening

Video Details

Duration: 15 minutes and 31 seconds
Country: Egypt
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 159
Posted by: tedxnile on Apr 14, 2010

Ahmed Hayman is a photojournalist, in this video he is discussing his "Help Portrait" project of how managed to use his talent to help poor people and establish water pipes into their houses.

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