I have made it back home. Back to my wife and my child and my bed. I am going to take a few days to try to reconnect and get my health better. I had rough case of bronchitis the whole time I was gone. Physically this was one of the hardest I have ever been on.

A few quick points. In the next few days I will be posting two of the essays my students made. I know you will enjoy them.

The last day my students; the folks from Millennium and the Preemptive Love Coalition took us to Halabja. My guess is you have never even heard of it. You probably know it, just not by name. Halabja was the Kudish village that Saddam Hussein bombed with mustard gas. Actually three tyes of gas. You probably didn’t know that he gave the gas was fruit scented so that the kids would breathe it in deeply. Experts think that Saddam Hussein’s 281 chemical attacks and experiments on the Kurds of northern Iraq contribute to the high rate of life-threatening heart disease among children in the region today. Enter the Preemptive Love Coalition. Jeremy & Jessica Courtney along with Ruth Simpson and others work to bring life saving surgery for these kids. Jessica made a touching essay that I will be posting in the next day or two  Until then here are some quick snaps from my day at Halabja. By the way, Chemical Ali, Saddam’s master mind behind the attacks, was executed just two days before I arrived.

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About The Author

Matt Brandon

Matt is a Malaysia based humanitarian and travel photographer. Well known as a photographer and international workshop instructor, Matt’s images have been used by business and organizations around the globe. Matt also on the design board for Think Tank Photo, a camera bag manufacturer. In 2013 Matt founded the On Field Media Project to train the staff of non-profits to use appropriate technology to produce timely as well as quality images.


  1. gavingough

    Highly evocative stuff, Matt.

    Glad you're back safely and now have a chance to rest and recuperate.

  2. ianfurniss

    Truly excellent work m8!
    & good to have you back safe & sound. Take it easy

  3. Matt Brandon

    Thank you gentlemen. Good to be home. It was fun while it lasted, but really hard work. Mainly due to this bronchitis. But the lungs are starting to heal…slowly.

  4. waitinginthedark

    I didn't know, Matt. And I am grateful to you for having the courage of this reportage and testimony. I hope that lots of people will see your video, especially teen-agers and children. Because awareness is the only way to – hopefully – try to stop hate and persecution. No one should have the right, for whatever reason, to steal the life of another human being.
    I look forward to read and see the other pieces of your wonderful journey.

  5. Matt Brandon

    Thank you. I had heard of this when it happened and then at the start of the 2nd Gulf War. But it is a lot different to hear about it than it is to go there and see the graves, the old bomb shells and talk with survivors. You might try searching Youtube for some of the more graphic images. They are tough to view but need to be seen, to be remembered. Glad you came buy, tell others.

  6. Tim Humble

    Great stuff Matt. Very moving.

  7. Mario Mattei

    Very moving… loved the music and the images, especially the horizontal images.

    I recently hung out with a Kurd who harbored deep bitterness regarding all of this. His hate infected him. How can forgiveness and justice overcome revenge and hate? How can I, someone who does NOT know what it's like to be oppressed and slaughtered like this, say anything to someone who's gone through this? I found it difficult to say the least.

    I can say that I'm pleased to see how this photo documentary can create awareness about the atrocity.

  8. heber vega

    hey Matt, thank you for your contribution to our humanitarian work in Iraq.
    great job on your Halabja essay…


  9. hotdot

    I'm glad you got to see Halabja, and the heart of why I live here! Thanks for letting the rest of the world know!

  10. mindybrandonhamm

    Very powerful Matthew. Well done! Thanks for the suggestion of going to You Tube.



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