As beautiful as the Middle East is, it's hard to ignore the turmoil and near-constant conflict that hangs over the region. Israel - a country that can polarize - had many sobering reminders of the bullets shot and lives lost over this contentious property. As a photographer, it is important that I capture these uglier reminders of our world; my camera is an opportunity to show people the most beautiful parts of our planet and remind them of our less proud moments.
These two photographs capture what I believe is the essence of conflict in the Levant region. The first is part of a building just miles from Gaza. The holes in the side of the building are bullet holes - reminders of previous conflicts between Hamas and the Israeli military. If you look closely, you can also see Hebrew and Arabic writing on the building's facade.
The second image was taken in the north of Israel, in the Golan Heights, and is part of a UN Disengagement Observer Force post looking into Syria. In the background of the image is Syria - I could hear artillery and gunfire in the distance. These UN observers are stationed on this hilltop as a neutral force to monitor that Israeli and Syrian military forces respect a 1973 agreement to establish a buffer zone between Israel and Syria.
I am very fortunate; there are no bullet holes on the buildings around my home and there are no UN observers in my backyard. The local reminders of war and conflict date to the 1940s or cold war - they are not reminders of a current and ongoing fight. Seeing (and hearing) the ever-present evidence of Middle East conflict was extremely sobering, and I believe it's just as important to capture as the beautiful sights.
Shot with the Leica Camera SL and 24-90mm SL Lens.