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Portrait Of A Survior

Sat Jan 21, 2017, 9:37 AM

With every passing day, I walked the streets of Vietnam, it became more and more clear to me, that there was a greater commonality to these portraits of the elder women of Vietnam, than simply their stoic countenance, their quite pride and  the “something missing” in their eyes. Eyes are the mirror of the soul and the reflection shows something vital has been wrenched from the very essence of their life, something has been lost forever



Hanoi Street - IX by InayatShah

These women are survivors, and what they have lost has come at the price of survival.They are survivors of a war the decimated Vietnam's infrastructure and economy. A war in which an estimated 2 million Vietnamese died, 3 million were wounded and another 12 million became refugees. A war in which the USA dropped 1 million tons of bombs in North Vietnam and another 4 million tons in the South.  The infamous Agent Orange was sprayed over 4.5 million acres and reducing lush forests and verdant paddy fields to desolate wasteland.  400,000 people were killed or maimed as a result of exposure to Agent Orange, half a million children have been born with serious birth defects, while as many 2 million people are still suffering from cancer or other illness caused by Agent Orange.  A country that was ravaged with war crimes, like the My Lai massacre where a US army platoon killed (and in some cases beat, raped, tortured, or maimed) almost 500 unarmed civilians – primarily women, children, and old men – in the hamlets of My Lai.


Hanoi Street - X by InayatShah

Hoi An People - IV by InayatShah

I was able to talk to a few in very candid terms, and could not but shed a silent tear.  “NO … we do not hate, we do not even dislike  ... But we can never forget”, they said.


Hoi An People - VI by InayatShah

Hoi An People - VII by InayatShah

Hoi An People - XI by InayatShah

Hoi An People - X by InayatShah

Hanoi Street - VII by InayatShah

Hanoi Street - IV by InayatShah


Wars are not instigated by Nation on Nation, but by Individuals, demagogues, Egotists, by greed to usurp another’s rights, by a selfish false righteousness to impose ones way of thinking upon another. It is the pathos of humanity, to destroy itself. Wars will be fought, wars will be won and wars will be lost.  It is always the innocents will always pay the greatest price.  I dwell not on the reasons or logic or the why’s and how’.            I simply ask “Then What?”





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:iconbergunty:
bergunty Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting focus, thank you for documenting and giving us a bit of history Inayat. 
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:iconinayatshah:
InayatShah Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you ..
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:iconedwardv17:
Edwardv17 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
An OUTSTANDING series of humanity .  Worthy of being published in National Geographic :)  My favorite is the woman smoking :)
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:iconinayatshah:
InayatShah Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you.  That is my personal favorite too.
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:iconxantosia:
Xantosia Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Beautiful photographs and so deep, so true...
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:iconinayatshah:
InayatShah Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank You
Reply
:iconlucilaleyla:
LUCILALEYLA Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Wonderful portraits of these amazing woman :love: very emotive
and words so true :hug:
thank you for sharing!
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:iconinayatshah:
InayatShah Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank You :)
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:iconlucilaleyla:
LUCILALEYLA Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
My pleasure :hug:
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:iconawesomesauces63:
awesomesauces63 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Absolutely stunning- it speaks volumes about our world
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:iconinayatshah:
InayatShah Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you
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:iconglasslinger:
glasslinger Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Beautiful work!..
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:iconinayatshah:
InayatShah Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks ...
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:iconvanndra:
vanndra Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
:no:
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:iconinayatshah:
InayatShah Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Yes it is was an ironic aspect of this beautiful and amazing country
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:iconwagmorebarkless:
WagmoreBarkless Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Another brilliant, thought provoking, gut-wrenching journal entry, InayatShah.  Thanks for making all of us think and feel deeper than is comfortable for us to do so.
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:iconinayatshah:
InayatShah Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you and after getting to know more about you, I can appreciate your sincere resonance of my experience.
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:iconafricanobserver:
AfricanObserver Featured By Owner Edited Jan 22, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
A half-remembered quote from when I was wrestling with serving in the South African Defence Force goes that wars are where old men send young men to fight their battles.

You win. Then what? You lose? Then what? Indeed. The losses are immense, on all sides.

Thank you Inayat.
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:iconinayatshah:
InayatShah Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
It is also rather ironic .. since I served over 35 years in the military myself
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:iconafricanobserver:
AfricanObserver Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
There are various reasons and times. Sometimes we are young, naive and pliant, some times battles need fighting (WW II allies come to mind). Life is complex. But we need to keep looking, asking.
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:iconpinedrop:
Pinedrop Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2017
Beautifully captured and written.  Once again you have created a photo-journalistic piece that is worthy of publication.  (I'd be willing to bet there are U.S. magazines that would be interested, particularly given what is happening here.)  Your words and photos serve as a poignant reminder of the tragedy of war.
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:iconinayatshah:
InayatShah Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
well .. to be honest .. There were so many stark reminders there of what is happening today ..in the US .. that acted as a catalyst for this journal, but in the end I decided not to add or include that material .. but just to share with you allow me to put some stuff (Just text .. That I saw in their War Museum)

Slt77m2 D8 P1 120117 017 by InayatShah

And then recall His words "I will BOMB the **** out of them"  as if it was a really possible.

Or

Slt77m2 D8 P1 120117 021 by InayatShah

 and what he said yesterday "We Should have Kept The Oil .. To the Victor goes the spoils"
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:iconpinedrop:
Pinedrop Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2017
Yes, exactly.  People here need these reminders given the current climate.  Whenever arrogance pops its ugly head up, horrific acts may follow.
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:iconbatsceba:
Batsceba Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2017   Photographer
:clap: thanks for sharing
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:iconinayatshah:
InayatShah Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you .. I am glad that my feelings have some resonance
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:iconniklin1:
niklin1 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Great photographs and a mind-provoking text!  :clap:  :clap:
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:iconinayatshah:
InayatShah Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you
Reply
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