Qamar Hashim is an 8-year-old Iraqi photographer. He tours famous streets to picture Baghdadis with his single camera and is the youngest Iraqi photographer to win several local awards, according to the Iraqi Society Photographic (ISP).
Below, Qamar responds to a series of questions.
- When did you take your first photograph and what did it show?
I do not remember exactly the first picture but I had been mimicking my father since I was 4 or 5 years-old and started to take pictures of the Tigris river, the gulls, birds, old houses and heritage places.
- Why do you think photography is important?
Photography is very important. It documents life and pauses time. We can show the city, life and the people.
- What do you want to show people about Iraq?
I want to say through my pictures that Iraq is precious and Iraqis are very kind. Iraq is peaceful and has a great history.
- How do you feel about the U.S. troops leaving Iraq?
I am afraid of the U.S. soldiers, they destroyed the house my family rented in 2003, when I was a fetus. Thank God my family survived and I am happy now for their departure. I am free and not afraid of their tanks.
- What do you want to be when you finish school?
I like to act and I would like to be a child-activist.
- Which is your favorite photo you have taken and why?
My favorite picture is of a man sleeping who sells books at al-Mutanabi street. Also a picture of a bee on a rose, I ran a lot to follow the bee until I got this picture.
- Are there any photographers you look up to?
There a lot of good photographers and I learned from them (Adel Qassim, Fouad Shakir, Kareem al-Ba’aj, and Hameed Majeed).
- Are there any photos you wish to take but haven’t been able to yet?
The dangerous pictures like fire, blasts, other incidents but I have been sent off the site. They say I am a child. Also I wish to get a picture of the triangle of migrant birds.
- What does the future of Iraq look like?
I see a flourishing future for Iraq especially when my family owns a house. I love Iraq, my home, and it is more precious than anything else.
Henri Cartier-Bresson Albert Camus 1945
“We turn our backs on nature; we are ashamed of beauty. Our wretched tragedies have a smell of the office clinging to them, and the blood that trickles from them is the color of printer’s ink.” Albert Camus, ”Helen’s Exile” 1948
A portrait taken by one of my favorite photographers of all time. Wish I liked Camus more.