Every day we go about our daily lives and routines… pick up a Starbucks, playfully argue with a friend, chat at the water cooler, drive home in traffic, watch the same TV shows, go to sleep. Wake up the next day and do the same thing.
It’s sometimes easy to forget, even after watching the news or traveling to a foreign country, that there is a lot going on in the world outside of our small bubbles of influence. Things both horrifying and beautiful, amazing and sorrowful, positive and negative.
The photos below illustrate 28 amazing moments which capture the beauty and essence of humanity, even if it’s not always uplifting.
Warning: Some of the photos below are quite graphic and powerful.
#1. A Yazidi girl rests at the Iraqi-Syrian border.
This little girl with blonde hair and blue eyes belongs to the Kurdish Yazidi sect. Her people are being targeted by the violent religious group know as ISIS. They are trying to kill off the Yazidi blood line, simply because of their religious beliefs. This poor girl and her family had no choice but to leave their homes behind and flee the violent group that was after them.
#2. Toshimana, an apprentice Maiko in Kyoto.
Toshimana is a maiko living in Kyoto, Japan. A maiko’s job is to provide entertainment during various feasts and gatherings. They sing songs, dance and play shamisen, which is a famous three-stringed Japanese instrument. Over 300 years ago, the maiko’s only served tea and dango to the people that visited the famous Kyoto shrines. As time progressed, the started to perform songs and dances.
#3. The face of a Chinese coal miner.
China is known to be the biggest producer and consumer of coal in the entire world.
#4. Public bus passengers try to rescue a woman who tried to commit suicide.
Reports indicate that a Chinese woman attempted to commit suicide while traveling on a public bus. It is unclear as to why the woman slit her wrist with a knife. As soon as the incident occurred, the passengers that happened to be on bus came to her aid. They tried to stop her excessive bleeding. They also notified the police. Shortly after, the injured women was taken to the local hospital.
#5. Mother and daughter.
Eye color is inherited gene. This mother and her daughter are a perfect example of that. Their resemblance is quite clear. They share the same beautiful eyes. One eye is dark brown and the other is blue. The scientific term is heterochromia iridium. The difference in coloration is caused by lack of the melanin pigment.
#6. Taking a break at Burning Man.
This woman is pictured is one of the thousands of attendees at the annual Burning Man Festival. The Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada is home to this unique event. During the last week of August, creative individuals from all across the country come to the desert to express themselves through various forms of art.
#7. A Palestinian girl with an AK-47 in Gaza City.
The Istrael-Palestine conflict has been an ongoing dispute for a couple of decades. Two groups of people share the same land, but have different beliefs. This is what a typical childhood looks like for most Palestinian kids. They are forced to grow up fast in an impoverished and violent environment.
#8. Malagasy girl walks among the Baobab trees.
On the island of Madagascar, outside of the city Morondava lies a truly sacred and beautiful forest. This forest is home to the rare Baobab trees. It is a very special place for the Malagasy people. The trees are said to be over a thousand years old. A Baobab tree is referred to as the “tree of life.” It provides shelter, food and water for animals and humans.
#9. 3-week-old albino baby.
Basunga is a 3-week-old baby born with albinism. He is pictured sleeping next to his cousin. Basunga will grow up in Kinshasa, Congo and will likely face some difficulties when he grows older simply because of his skin color.
#10. This girl who survived 12 days in Siberian Forest.
3-year-old Karina Chikitova followed her father into the forest. The poor girl ended up getting lost. It took her mother 4 days to realize that her daughter was missing. Luckily, a puppy was with Chikitova the whole time. The dog kept her warm at night and protected her from danger. After 12 days in the Siberian wilderness, the girl was found. She survived by drinking water from the river and eating wild berries.
#11. A mother and her 3 year-old daughter, victims of an acid attack.
29-year-old Somayeh Mehri and her 3-year-old daughter Rana Afghanipour are victims of a violent acid attack by Somayeh’s husband Amir.
Somayeh found the courage to ask for a divorce but that didn’t sit well with Amir. One night while the mother and daughter slept, Amir poured acid on them. It left them with deep physical and physiological injuries. Somayeh’s father had to sell his land to raise money for their medical expenses. The two will always have scars.
#12. A farmer with his son who just graduated.
According to various sources, the father lost his wife during child birth. He spent his entire life working hard to support his son and other siblings. His son recently graduated from Ratchpatr University in Thailand. With the education he received, the son can finally earn a good living and take care of his father.
#13. Beautiful eyes!
Not much is known about the story behind this image. All we know is that this Afghan mother and her son have really stunning eyes.
#14. Alcoholic father with his son.
This boy is trying his best to wake his alcoholic father from a drunken stupor. This picture is very sad. Alcoholism is known to destroy lives as well as families.
#15. 13-year-old eagle huntress Ashol Pan in Mongolia.
There is a number of eagle hunters that live in remote parts of Monglia. This unique tradition has been passed on from generation to generation. The eagles are tamed and used to hunt smaller animals such as rabbits and foxes. This 13-year-old girl is learning from her father.
#16. Rice farmer in small village in Vietnam.
Most farmers in Vietman make a living from growing rice. Vietnam is a very rich agricultural region especially the Mekong Delta. It consists of 12 provinces and 17 million people. 80% of those people are involved in the production of rice.
#17. 7-year-old Syrian rebel.
It’s been over 3 years since Syria engulfed in a bloody civil war. Rebel forces are still fighting to overthrow president Bashar al-Assad. These rebels use children as means to transport guns and supplies. Most were robbed of their childhood by this conflict. They have to join the rebels and do what ever is asked of them.
#18. A boy rescues his sister from underneath the rubble of their home in Syria.
Their home was bombed as part of the ongoing conflict. This teenager found and rescued his sister in the rubble. Luckily, they escaped the attack with only minor injuries. This is a very touching and heartbreaking picture.
#19. Iowa couple of 72 years finally gets married.
This past year, Alice Dubes and her soulmate Vivian Boyack were finally able to get married after being together for 72 years. They fell in love with one another after meeting in college in 1942. With society looking down on same sex marriage, the couple never went public with their relationship. In 2009, Iowa became the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage. The two finally got to do what they wanted all along.
#20. A monk and his brother.
This incredible photograph was captured in Bagan, Myanmar. From what we understand, the two boys are brothers. This image is a perfect example of a cultural clash.
#21. An 18-year-old IDF soldier.
Sgt. Asher Svidensky took this photo of an 18-year-old female soldier, who stopped for a rest after a military exercise. The photo went on to become the promotional photograph for the women’s freedom and responsibility exhibition.
#22. 2 -year-old offering food to her handicapped mom.
This is one of the most emotional photographs that we’ve ever came across. We don’t know what happened to the mother, but our hearts got heavy after being introduced to this photo. Sometimes life just ins’t fair and this is a perfect example of just that.
#23. “I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.” – George S. McGovern
A picture tells a thousand words. But this picture along with its caption paints a very vivid story. Only if man kind found a way to love each other, maybe we wouldn’t be faced with conflicts such as war.
#24. Tea time on the Yamal peninsula.
This image gives us the harsh reality of what life is like in northwest Siberia. The area is undeveloped and consists of only a few villages. These areas lack everyday necessities such as running water and electricity. During the cold winter months, hot tea is most comforting against the Siberian cold.
#25. Ethiopian girl from the Hamer tribe.
The Hamer tribe inhabits southwestern Ethopia. Over 46,000 people are part of the tribe.
Tourists visit the Hamer tribe in hopes of witnessing the traditional bull jumping ceremony. The event involves young men jumping over a line of more than 10 bulls in hopes of getting accepted into the higher ranks of the Maza.
#26. Yezidi girl carries an assault rifle to protect her family against ISIS.
This very first image portrays the problem the Yezidi people are facing. They must protect themselves by all means against the barbaric ISIS militants.
#27. Blind albino boys at a mission school for the blind in West Bengal, India, 2013.
A group of five blind albino boys pose for a picture at the Vivekananda Mission School for the Blind in West Bengal, India. This on one of the very few schools for the blind.
#28. A boy of the nomadic Suri tribe of Ethiopia in traditional face/body paint and attire.
A young boy from the Suri tribe shows off his traditional body paint. The Suri live in the southwest part of Ethiopia. The young boys and men usually paint their bodies using a mixture of soil, herbs and plants, but the women have their bottom teeth removed and put plates in their lips.