Saturday, 9 September 2017

Photography - London's diversity

For the last few weeks, I have been traveling to different parts of London to visit different communities, as I wanted to find out more about their cultures and people, and also wanted to capture special moments of their celebrations in photography.

I have lived in several locations and countries in the past but London is the only place where I can be who I am without being conscious about my skin colour or different accent, and I feel completely accepted here because this city embraces multiculturalism. So many different cultures and experiences exist in such close proximity and  to me, that's the beauty of London.

Aug 2017 at Notting Hill Carnival

Sep 2017 during Bid Al-Adha. Muslims praying in the open air near the local mosque in Brick Lane, East London.

Aug 2017 in Ealing. Sri Lankan Tamil's Murugan festival.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Cairo - Kindness of strangers

Before the Arab Spring, I had a few months wandering in the Middle East on my own with a little rucksack. One of the cities I was particularly drawn into was Cairo where endless dusty streets spread across and over 9 million people live. In Cairo, I experienced the most unforgettable kindness of strangers and beautiful serendipity.
I was almost out of money without any guidebook and lost in the mega city without knowing anyone. I was too exhausted to think straight and was just standing still in the middle of nowhere at a big traffic light.  Suddenly, someone grabbed my hand and told ‘ Yallah, lets go. Time to cross’ with a big charming smile. After a brief chat, I was invited to visit and stay with his family outside Cairo – a small Bedouin town which I don’t remember its name now. Looking back, I was really brave and naïve to trust complete strangers for 100% but at that time, I felt it was the right thing to do and I just followed my instinct.

There, I met incredibly genuine, warm and kindest people. I shared wonderful meal, tea, and interesting conversation with someone I did not know even an hour ago. Somewhat I felt at home and was thinking ‘ ah, maybe this is what ‘ Maktub’ means – a thing that was pre-written and a thing that was meant to happen. The experience made me believe that whatever the background ( religious, background, culture etc), we are able to connect with each other on a person to person level as long as we are open minded and dare to jump into something unknown.

Years passed and I haven’t had a chance to revisit the city. I even don’t remember the name of the Bedouin down. Most likely I may not see them again yet I do think of the fond memories and think about them every now and then.

Friday, 2 June 2017

When We Are Bold - Women Who Turn Our Upsidedown World Right

‘ To those who want to contribute to change but aren’t sure what they do will matter. Every action we take for the benefit of others matter deeply. Find your passion and work on it, even a couple of hours a month. It will change your world in ways you can’t possibly imagine’

Every now and then when I am held back by a thought that what I do ( small scale activism) makes no difference at all and need to deal with self-doubt, I think of this Jody William’s words. Jody Williams is an activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her incredible work on the International Campaign to ban landmines.
Recently I finally managed to get hold of a book called ‘ When We Are Bold – Women Who Turn Out Upside-down World Right’ which features her. This book is a collection of 28 incredible women activists around the world who boldly work for change in the area of peace building, human rights, social justice and environment.  It is truly inspiring and I just could not put down the book!  While reading this, I was thinking of the young incredible grass-roots activists I met and worked with in the Dunkirk refugee camp last week. In the global context, what we do might be a drop in the ocean but I witnessed how much impact the grass roots activism on the ground could make to people’s lives.

If we change nothing, then nothing will change. I’d like to believe that a small change each one of us bring will surely help make the world a better place. 

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Dunkirk refugee camp - Child refugees

先週末から数日、フランス北部にあるCalais にある難民キャンプで、ボランティアとして地元のNGOと共に女性・子供を主に援助活動を行った。

援助を行った場所は、Calais から車で30分のDunkirk にある難民キャンプだったのだが、4月末に施設の全てが火事で全焼。
現在、ここに留まる難民達(Calais Dunkirkにいる難民達は住み分けが出来ているらしく、Dunkirkは主にイラク、イラン、シリア北部のクルド難民が主で、Calaisはスーダン、エリトリア難民が主)は、水を含む物資にアクセスの無い奥深い森に避難している。

UN,フランス政府、公的機関からの支援は一切無いため、援助は全て、私の働いたWomens Centre  Refugee Community Kitchen などの草の根の援助団体のみである。







Monday, 22 May 2017








Monday, 15 May 2017

Trip to Bosnia

当初はMontenegro だけを車で周る予定だったのだが、どうしてもBosnia 、特にMostarに行かなくてはいけない衝動に駆られて、国境を越えて数日Bosniaへ。5歳の娘に日頃から、世界で起きていること、歴史、戦争、難民について話してはいるが、実際、深い戦争の傷跡が残る街を見て、どういう風に話せばいいのか、と言葉を気をつけながら過去に起こったことを説明した。

ボスニア独立宣言後にBosnian, Croats, Serbs 間で繰り広げられた1993年のBosnian War。








Sunday, 14 August 2011

Endless curiosity



Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Saffron Kitchen by Yasmin Crowther

最近読んだ本の中で、だんとつに良かったのがこれ、イラン系イギリス人作家Yasmin Crowther 著サフラン キッチン。





Wednesday, 27 April 2011

In between




Tuesday, 1 February 2011



私は本が大好きで、とにかく時間があれば何処にいても本を読んでいる。たまに人になぜそこまで本が好きなのか?と聞かれて上手く答えられない時がある。でもそう、この気持ち、この感覚を感じられる時があるからだ。Paul Austerを読む時にも感じる感覚なのだが、同じ心の流れというか感じ方をする人がいるんだ、という確信して、妙な孤独がじわじわ癒される感覚。



Monday, 17 January 2011

Trip to New Zealand


雄大な自然に感動したのはもちろんだけれど、Motueka, Golden Bayなど滞在していた小さなコミュニティーで出会った人達の心の温かさ、ライフスタイルが今回の旅で一番感銘を受けた。フォーマリティ無しに、誰もが気軽に友人や隣人の家に立ち寄ることができる'open house'が普通の生活。自分の庭で育った採れたての野菜や果物を持って、ちょろっと立ち寄り、地元のワイナリーで作られたワインを飲みながら、おしゃべりする。日が昇れば、波の音を聞きながら海に出る。そんなシンプルな生活。

Friday, 3 December 2010

Reflections on a cardboard box - Paul Auster

".... There are difficult days for the poor. We have entered a period of enormous prosperity, but as we rush down the highway of larger and larger profits, we forget that untold numbers of people are falling by the wayside. Wealth creates poverty. That is the secret equation of a free market economy. We don't like to talk about it but as the rich get richer and find themselves with greater and greater amounts of money to spend, prices have been going up....

..... The heat is rattling in the pipes, and the room is warm. Outside, the sky is dark and the wind is lashing the rain against the side of the house. I have no answers, no advice to give, no suggestions. All I ask is that you think about the weather. And then, if you can, that you imagine yourself inside a cardboardbox, doing your best to stay warm...... "

クリスマスが近づくこの時期、ロンドンの繁華街Oxford Circusは毎年、煌びやかなネオンに飾られる。行き交う人々の手は、買い物袋でいっぱいになっている。そんな賑やかな雑踏の中を歩きながら、ふっとPaul Auster の散文集の中の一つReflections on a cardboard boxを思い出した。