Author Archives: Steve McCurry

Behind Closed Doors

The women came from different countries with the same dream:
to leave behind the poverty of their villages.


But instead of working as domestic help, they found themselves in a kind of prison,
employed by people who treated them like something less than human.
One was stabbed with a knife, another doused in boiling water, another raped and jailed.

Steve McCurry, best known for his work in war-torn countries like Afghanistan,
 documented the suffering of women from Indonesia,
Nepal and the Philippines who endured a myriad of abuses while
working for families elsewhere in Asia and the Middle East.

“They’re

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Language of Hands

Behold the hands
how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate,
refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command, 
mock and what not besides, with a variation and multiplication of
variation which makes the tongue envious.
– Michel de Montaigne
Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan
Bamiyan, Afghanistan
Havana, Cuba
Author Mary Brown Ward, Alabama, United States
The hands which beckon,
embrace, soothe, and comfort us
Bid us farewell.
Russia
United States

Hands calm us, feed us, and scratch our backs.
They intimidate, bless, encourage, and stop us.  They soothe and caress.
They draw our attention to the good and the bad, often suggesting

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Step by Step

Walking . . . is how the body measures itself against the earth.
- Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
New York
Paraguay
Pakistan
India

Solvitur ambulando
(To solve a problem, walk around)
- St. Jerome
Bangladesh

Afghanistan
Nepal
Tibet
There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. 
A fine landscape is like a piece of music;
it must be taken at the right tempo. 
- Paul Scott Mowrer
Vietnam
Italy
Brazil
Architecture limits where one can walk,
but the walker invents other ways to go.
– Rebecca Solnit
Croatia
 
Thailand
In every walk

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Power of Two

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work.

If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
- Ecclesiastes 4

Jodhpur, India
Istanbul, Turkey
Shanghai, China
One’s not half of two;
two are halves of one.
- e.e. cummings
Afghanistan
Lourdes, France
Grow old along with me
The best is yet to be, the last of life,
for which the first was made.
Our times are in his hand who saith,
A whole I planned, youth shows but half;
Trust God: See all, not be afraid!
- Robert Browning
Macedonia
Spain
Tibet
The

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Eye Witness

 Eyes speak a universal language, and no
interpreter is needed.
India

Where words are restrained,
the eyes often talk a great deal.
- Samuel Richardson
Italy
Her eyes are homes of silent prayers.
- Lord Alfred Tennyson

Yemen
Eyes are more accurate witnesses than ears.
- Heraclitus of Ephesus, 535 – c. 475 BCE
Afghanistan
 
Ethiopia
The countenance is the portrait of the soul,
and the eyes mark its intentions.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106 – 43 BCE
Afghanistan
The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mali
Tibet
The face is the mirror of the mind,

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Faces of Afghanistan

“A landscape might be denuded,
a human settlement abandoned or lost, but always,
just beneath the ground lies history of preposterous grandeur. . .
They are everywhere, these individuals of undaunted
humankind, irrepressibly optimistic and proud.”
-  The Carpet Wars, Christopher Kremmer
Kabul
Herat
Kabul
Panjshir Valley
Yet even at their most turbulent, the Afghans have tended to impress
travellers with their dignity and hospitality as much as their fierce independence.
- William Dalrymple,  author of Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839–42
Kabul
Charikar
Bamiyan
God must have loved Afghans because he made them so beautiful.
- Unknown
Peshawar, Pakistan

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