December 6, 2007
Traveling with as light a load as possible is something I long for during long stretches away from home. I routinely discard paperwork and periodicals, “recycle” gifts and give away clothing. But, here in Amman, Jordan, when a ten year-old Iraqi girl named Nauras gave me a camera, I quickly put it in the envelope where I keep my money, confident it would survive my next purge.
The camera consists of two pieces of drawing paper, cleverly folded so that the parts slide past each other, opening up a tiny square “shutter.” I think of Nauras peering through the shutter and pretending to snap my picture, then gleefully posing for imaginary snapshots as I take my turn as photographer. I remember her fetching her only other toy, a bedraggled baby doll with long white hair and eyes of aqua blue, and placing it in my arms.