Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. On a summer day in 1958, I gazed off into in the distance, at the American aircraft carrier USS Essex of the Sixth Fleet as it was docking offshore the coastal city of Beirut, Lebanon, a country that was plagued by an unsettling civil war. I was a child with uncertain prospects for the future. Raised in a modest traditional Middle Eastern family and living in a war-torn country, I became a photographer taking pictures at weddings and funerals and later became a photojournalist for celebrities.
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