HONY: Pakistan Edition
by Sreymich Lach
Humans of New York (HONY) began with Brandon Stanton and his passion for photography. In the summer of 2010, Stanton went around with a professional camera and took pictures of random strangers in New York. He catalogued numerous funny, sad, happy, and scary stories of strangers on his Facebook page titled, “Humans of New York.” These photos and stories that continue to be documented are beautifully shot photographs that give us a small glimpse into the lives of people of all ages. Stanton tells the good and the bad in life through these vivid snapshots.
Now HONY, not only have photography and small, meaningful short quotes from New Yorkers, but it has also officially included Pakistan in Stanton’s, 50 day World Tour in partnership with the UN.
Stanton’s special Humans of Pakistan celebrates the beautiful people in what may seem as a dreaded country. Overlooking the evil and horrific news in Pakistan, Stanton visits Gilgit-Baltistan in North Pakistan and strings together portraits –some of which are joyful stories and some are downright tear jerking.
One of the Humans of Pakistan’s post that really stood out to me was a woman, dressed in yellow Shayla –a headwear for Muslim women –with a wide-eyed toddler in her right arm, while wiping flowing tears with her left.
One of the two captions reads, ‘I left an abusive relationship and I have nowhere to go. I have Hepatitis C, so no one is willing to take me in. I don’t know how long I will live. I tried to give her up for adoption so that she’d have a good home. The wife of a minister told me about a place where I could drop her off. But when I got there, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.’
This short, sweet but powerful story almost caused me to shed a tear. What was more beautiful about Stanton’s Facebook post was the outpouring support and sympathy this woman and her child received. Wanting to help this woman and give her the proper treatment and care she deserves, strangers on Facebook utilized the power of social media to demand that Stanton locate the woman so that she can be connected to the right resources. Fortunately, Stanton did manage to locate the woman and will guide her to the right resources that she needed to get her back strong and healthy again—a happy ending to what was once a hopeless, heartbreaking story.
Also it is evidence that humanity and kindness still exist in today’s world and how one simple Facebook post can drastically turn an unknown Pakistani woman’s life around. Stanton has cultivated an inspiring outlet that connects so many people around the world with powerfully quoted anecdotes and vibrant photography.
Sreymich lives in sunny side California and attends John Marshall High School as a junior. Currently she is going through a phase of discovering her passion.