Bush, Afghanistan, Radiohead and Models

This week had a political flavor to it, with President Bush coming for a visit as well as the opening of the Afghanistan Donor Conference. Bush’s visit to Paris, part of his European farewell tour, came with mixed emotions for me.

I was in the interior courtyard of the Elysee Palace (the French “White House”) for Bush’s arrival and I couldn’t help but feel a bit of excitement when the presidential limo pulled up and Bush got out amidst all the pomp and circumstance of the royal guards.

But honestly, as soon as I saw his little crooked smirk on his face and how awkward he was in that situation (and in his own skin), all I could think about was the shame, embarrassment and dishonor he’s brought to the reputation of the USA. For me, it’s impossible to watch him enjoying anything, almost like when you see your ex having fun just after she splits with you or something like that. You feel like they don’t deserve it.

To see a few more images of the President’s Paris visit, CLICK HERE.

Earlier this week I shot the opening of the Afghanistan Donor Conference, with leaders from over 80 countries in attendance.

The conference raised over $20 billion for the reconstruction of that country. World leaders that attended included French President Sarkozy, Afghan President Karzai, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as well as Condoleezza Rice and Laura Bush. There were also many rotund middle Eastern guys there that seemed to be used to the opulence that came with the conference.

This week also included shooting Radiohead in concert (who were, of course, very intense) as well as a Human Rights Watch conference on Chechnya. I volunteer as Human Rights Watch’s photographer for events hosted by their Paris office.

The events are almost always very informative and cover topics I usually don’t know much about.

And finally, my near heart attack of the week happened when I walked down the stairs from my apartment, turned left to exit the building but then heard a faint noise coming from the courtyard behind me.

I turned around and saw a dozen models, dressed all in white with their hair painted white, all staring right at me. I froze and then, in English, asked the only thing that came to my mind …”Am I dead?”.

Some photos of the week …

Sarkozy blows
First Lady (let’s hope it’s jetlag)
Hamid and Sarko


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