Chai Seller

☀️ Sulaymaniyah city. Kurdistan, Iraq, 2019.

At the top of the mountain, after Ihsan and I were done chasing frames of paragliders in the sunset, it was time to have tea.

Of course, there was a tea merchant on the mountain top (along with vendors selling food), with his samovar and glasses and sugar vats gleaming in the now electric light.

I’ve been a tea drinker all my life, although not habitually after a meal. But to have a small glass of chai (generously sugared) after every meal was not exactly a huge effort. The tea is served boiling in the glass though, and I never learned to hold it with my bare fingers the way everyone else does… At least, in the summertime, when it’s in the high 40s Celsius. Hot tea, as you can imagine, is perfect in cold weather.

In tea, is life.

(If you look carefully, you can see the blurred silhouette of a paraglider behind the chai seller)

I lived in Kurdistan, Iraq for a year in 2019, working for an American aid group.

In the middle of 2019, Fujifilm asked me to be one of a handful of X-Photographers launching the brand new X-Pro3 — the camera line I’d used since it started in 2012. Check out the write up and a ton of photos.

Luckily for the project, which required a movie to be delivered, I knew a fantastic filmmaker. Ihsan keen to create a movie for the project, and delivered a movie we’re both super proud of. Read about the movie making here.