Photographer Exhibits Human Face of Iraqis

By: Jarrod Aldom
By: Jarrod Aldom

The price of war goes unnoticed by many of us, who have never seen it up close. But one local photographer is providing a look at the human face of the Iraqi people.

"One of the first impressions was just how hospitable they were, just incredibly hospitable," says photographer Craig Spaulding.

Craig Spaulding is talking about the people he met in Iraq when he traveled there last November with an association of churches. He says many people have the wrong idea about the Iraqi people.

"Even when they found out we were from the us, their supposed "enemies", they were more than happy to speak with us, invite us in to have tea and coffee," says Spaulding.

Spaulding says it's our government the people don't like.

"We were meeting with this lady in the hospital," explains Spaulding. "Her child was suffering from malnutrition. And she was very, very angry. But she made it clear that she was not angry at us or the average citizen, she was angry at the government."

Spaulding says U.S. sanctions cause most of the common Iraqi's problems. They have to depend entirely on the government for food. And doctors don't have the medicine to treat their patients. With war again in the region, Spaulding's concerned about the people he met there.

"Knowing they're the ones that are going to take the brunt of this...just profoundly sad, and I guess there's a bit of anger too," says Spaulding.

Spaulding says there are still people from his group in Iraq, trying to help where they can. His exhibit will be at the OASIS Gallery in Harrisonburg through March 31.


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