Yusuf AbudiThis is the page where you would normally come to see a list of accomplishments, years of experience as well as education. From my perspective whatever I would list here is not relevant to whether you like the photos. If you like them, does it matter if I have 40 years or 6 months of experience.

Rather than provide you a list of accomplishments and years of experience, let me provide you with some information about my background which may explain the photos I take.

Family history

Grandmother I was born a poor Palestinian boy, part of the elite peasant class (yep…peasant and proud of it!). We were simple people – just going with the flow and not necessarily totally comprehending the political situation around us. This photo was taken in 1929 (no…it is not of me!) and, as you can see, they look confused and wary. That is because when they were asked to line up they were confused that the language used was different than what they thought they would hear (English vs. Turkish), and apparently they were unaware that for the past 12 years the Palestinian territory was ruled by the Brits rather than the Turks. And you thought I was kidding. Additionally, while they were worried, smiles still broke out when they realized they were not standing in front of a firing squad. To prove it – the girl in the top row, second from the right (no moustache) is my grandmother (father’s side). (The moustache came later actually.)

If issues arose, we resolved them quickly and easily. Just look at how my grandfather (mother’s side) dealt with his sister-in-law. Sister-In-LawApparently the story goes that while my grandparents were visiting, the sister-in-law asked for help in harvesting grapes. They spent the entire day harvesting grapes and his sister-in-law kept telling my grandfather he was doing it wrong. At the end of the day, he was obviously fed up and decided to take action. After they went back down to the village; people inquired about the whereabouts of the sister-in-law. His response…she went off on her own and we heard hyenas in the background. When we went looking for her…she was nowhere to be found. Just kidding…we do have a sense of humor. Let’s face it, in our life you needed one!

Palestinian innovation

CadillacLong before the invention of the GPS for use by the armed forces, we had our own guided transportation that did not rely on satellite technology. My grandmother had a Cadillac – or that’s what she called it anyway! This Cadillac was able to find its way to the olive groves through cliffside trails that are only about 3 to 4 feet wide and back again without having to be programmed (eat your heart out Garmin.) Unfortunately, one day we received a call and she told us that her Cadillac is no more – apparently she had not been keeping up with routine oil changes and on one of the trips down the cliffside trails the poor fella slipped and fell down the mountain ( I think it was one of those new Japanese models that pushed him over the side.)

More photos of the old days!

DadHere’s a photo of Casanova (a.k.a my dad!). What was he thinking?? Check out the hair do and the lapels. Quite the ladies’ man. I believe here he is saying, “Yo ma….I’m going on the prowl for some village girls.” No doubt at that point – though it’s not depicted in the photo – she would have slapped him upside his head (we don’t like to hang our dirty laundry in public.)

DadAs time moved on, my dad decided to get himself a motorcycle. As you can see, lost some hair but still has his Casanova looks. And…carrying his gun in preparation of fighting off the other Casanovas if they make a move on his girl. One thing that does confuse me to this day…I’m not sure I’d be keeping my head so close to a gun barrel – especially on a motorcycle with a rough road ahead. But hey…that’s just me!
Mom We don’t want to forget the other side of the family! Here is a photo of my mom (she’s on the left) visiting with her cousin back in the old country. Although I know it is difficult to see in these images, the patterns designed on the “breastplates” of the robes indicate which village the women come from. In fact, my last name, Abudi, was derived from my great, great grandfather’s wife who came from the town of Aboud. Hence, the name Abudi. The villagers would go around and point at the wife and say, “Hey, here is the Aboudia.” Which basically means here is the woman from the town of Aboud. At least we got away with a simple name like a village. There was another family in the village we came from that is called Al Arja – meaning, “the woman who limps.” I know..you are rolling your eyes right now! There is also one about a one-eyed woman. Bottom line, I’m quite pleased with the name “Abudi!”
WeddingWeddings were special events with nearly the entire village attending. In this photo you see the procession through the village to the church for the wedding. And, in this photo the mandatory haircut and shave for the groom the day of the wedding.Wedding
HoneymoonAnd here they are coming back from their honeymoon. I’m guessing the honeymoon was a success as my brother was born nine months to the day! After they returned, they moved in with my dad’s mother, my grandmother.
EmbroideryMy mother made this wall tapestry. These are breastplates from various villages that would be on women’s dresses. The villages and towns represented are throughout Palestine. As you can imagine, this is a tremendous amount of work. It took my mother two and a half years to complete this project. This is one of three that she has made. She has also made some beautiful pillows – of which we have tons throughout the house – along with table runners, and other pieces of embroidery.
Our family goes back several hundred years in that region – we have lots and lots of proud stories!

Something About Me

Here’s a photo of me with my first camera. I am 9 years old. It is a Kodak 126 Instamatic. Don’t even ask about the underwear display behind me…..I think our neighbor was proud of his wealth and thus ability to have many pairs of underwear.

Self PortraitAnd…of course, everyone needs a self-portrait. Here’s my first. Now that I look at it again – may have been trying to break a smile but it looks more like I’m worried about something (a la Blair Witch Project.)

Self Portrait And here’s another self-portrait. Not sure this is any better than the last one!
By the way, for those who are interested (and I know some of you are!) – my background is in business intelligence and process improvement. I have been taking photos since I was 9 years old.

After much pushing from friends and family (oh and they pushed – I have the bruises to prove it!) – I have decided to start this website and sell my photos.

Peruse the galleries and feel free to send me your comments. Would love to hear from you!