One of my many aspirations as a photographer was to photograph for TIME, so last summer when the call came I was willing to photograph pretty much any subject matter to be a part of their history. However, I learned to be careful what I wished for as the photograph, as small as it was, proved to be emotionally impacting in nature.
The story behind the image was that of a young girl in her early 20’s, quite beautiful, trying to live out the American dream… her American dream. However, her father was angered by her Westernized lifestyle and warned her that bad things would happen if she were to leave her Iraqi culture. This fury over her changes enraged him so, that one day, in a random parking lot, he stalked her and a friend, and when the time was right drove over them both in his truck. The image, as quite as it may seem, is the curb that this girl was crushed against. The friend lived, but the daughter did not.
So back to last summer as I sat there in a random parking lot where such horror occurred. The evening was fitting, a summer’s monsoon had blown through only hours earlier, and the sky had little light other than street lamps. I thought about the tragedy, and tried to imagine the chaos that was this unassuming curb, and tree that I was photographing. But I was overwhelmed by the thought that as a photographer, I could have someday photographed this girl, for she was trying to become a model. However, here I was, in a way creating a posthumous portrait of a girl that never got the chance to live.