Update: Kirkuk

Update: Kirkuk

The Old Ottoman city of Kirkuk.

Quick update. Yesterday I drove with Millennium Relief and Development Services (MRDS) to Kirkuk here in Iraq. I had not talked about it by name before for security reasons. The city is still tense and has US Army security forces though out the city. On my way out of town I got a text message from my wife saying she was going to have an emergency appendectomy in an hour. She had the surgery and was out and doing fine by the time I got to Kirkuk. Thank you for the Tweets of concern from last night and this morning. She is resting (not so) comfortable at home.

The trip to Kirkuk went well. Millennium works in some pretty dicey environments and security is a real concern. In fact, yesterday we traveled with flack jackets on and drove from site to site in a armored vehicles. I felt like I was living in a movie. Not even in Kashmir did I have this kind of security detail.

The Kirkuk landfill. The Black Rapid Double strap fits perfect over an armored vest.

The Kirkuk landfill. One of our Kurdish (former) Peshmerga security detail.

The MRDS’ work in Iraq is very impressive. They have several offices and a myriad of work in the country. Yesterday I was commissioned to shoot the projects in Kirkuk. Millennium was responsible in the design of a water pump station and a large land fill among other things. It might sound dry and boring but the fact is it is instrumental in getting life back to normal for people of Kirkuk. I was trilled to photograph it. I did get some time at the end of the day to visit some old Ottoman ruins. Where I shot the first image in this post from the top of a 1,000 year old mud and brick minaret. That might have been the scariest part of the trip.

The Keens Klamath and an MP5.

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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. Jere Judd

    I don't know. To me the scariest part of the trip would be going anywhere you had to wear a flak jacket. Just my thought….though those high places are pretty scary. If you were wearing the flak jacket while standing on top of the minaret you definitely qualify for the scariest part of the trip. 🙂

  2. Matt Brandon

    Jere, Actually that was exactly how it was. Made things very tight.

  3. Jere Judd

    OK. You get my vote fro bravest NGO tog on the planet.

  4. Jere Judd

    OK. You get my vote for bravest NGO tog on the planet.



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