Meet The National Geographic Traveler Of The Year – Part I

Heather Finnecy

Meet Heather Finnecy.

A photographer from San Francisco set out on a journey to photograph the women of Middle East, in territories many would steer clear of. “As an American, I found there was a hole in the imagery and information that I received about the daily lives of women in the world,” she says. “So I decided to set out and see for myself what it was like.” In her quest to find out what it is like for women in other cultures, she visited Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Kuwait, UAE and Afghanistan.

I want to share some of her work with you and I encourage you to visit her project site From What I Can See to view all photographs captured during her Middle East itinerary.

I’m grateful for people like Heather who’ve taken the initiative to walk into unpopular territories exposing a side of the Muslim world unbeknownst to many in the West. Contrary to images of fear, chaos and oppression propagated by Media in our daily lives, her photographs show a rather different perspective of the Middle East – a more modern side. It provides a lens into the lives of women who are striving for their aspirations and dreams just like us. “I believe that every time I go to a new country and I connect with a human there, I am making the world smaller,” Finnecy says. This is so true! The more I travel, the more I realize people essentially everywhere strive for similar things in life. We are more alike then we think we are in spite of our differences in race, religion, culture and traditions. Recognizing this “commonality” we share with people from other parts of the world helps create a bond. And once we establish a bond, we will learn to fear less and respect more. For we only fear what we don’t know.

There’s so much of her work I want to share but I want to leave plenty for you to view on her website.

Since there are a plethora of photographs, today’s post is dedicated to Heather’s journey to Lebanon and Kuwait.

Beirut, Lebanon

Shop Girls

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Streets of Beirut

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American University of Beirut

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On the Waterfront

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See more photographs of Lebanon here

Kuwait

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See more photographs of Kuwait here

Tomorrow we will take a peek into Heather’s journey to Palestine and Jordan.

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