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Begging | by Nicolò Paternoster
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"To me poor people are like bonsai trees. When you plant the best seed of the tallest tree in a flower-pot, you get a replica of the tallest tree, only inches tall. There is nothing wrong with the seed you planted, only the soil-base that is too inadequate. Poor people are bonsai people. There is nothing wrong in their seeds. Simply, society never gave them the base to grow on. All it needs to get the poor people out of poverty for us to create an enabling environment for them. Once the poor can unleash their energy and creativity, poverty will disappear very quickly.

[...] One day our grandchildren will go to museums to see what poverty was like."

Muhammad Yunus


Behind the shot


This old woman was standing with their grandchildren close to the main entrance of Aya Sofia selling hand-made wallets.

I was so impressed by her face that I started starring at her without moving.I mean,how can her skin be such a smooth and soft-like skin? At first place she was smiling at me and even if I wanted to take a picture of her I felt like it was wrong and I didn't. Then I started "chatting" in pseudo-english with her and she was so friendly I gave her some Liras and she gave me two wallets she made. Eventually I asked if I could take a picture of her and she agreed so I had the time to set up the camera and compose the image. Thats it

Istanbul, February 2011.


EDIT* : More information from a turkish friend who saw the picture :


Mahmut : "Did you notice the special paint on her nails ? it is called 'henna' or 'alcanna' made from a specific tree..the mothers used to paint their sons' palms(of the hands) before they send them to war..They still do it in Anatolia before the sons leave for the military service..The new brides and old women in Anatolia also use this "henna" to paint their hands or hairs"

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Taken on February 21, 2011