The popularity of Humans of New York is hard to understate. With more than 14 million followers on Facebook and several books of his work published, photographer Brandon Stanton has been credited with lending a different, more human voice to the diverse population of New York.
Now, Stanton is bringing his ability to bring out people's stories abroad. Currently traveling and photographing in Iran, Stanton has managed to show the stories of a people often perceived negatively in the Western media.
And his interesting work has not gone unnoticed.
A recent photo of a young boy and his father caught the attention of President Obama himself, who commented on the post.
The photo's caption is a quote from the father describing his son's "humanitarian" spirit. To everyone's delight, the president commented via the White House account:
What an inspirational story. One of the most fulfilling things that can happen to you as a parent is to see the values you've worked to instill in your kids start to manifest themselves in their actions – and this one really resonated with me. I hope this young man never loses his desire to help others. And I'm going to continue doing whatever I can to make this world a place where he and every young person like him can live up to their full potential. (And if I ever get to meet him, I hope he'll save me an apricot!) -bo
It's a small gesture, but a significant moment in U.S.-Iran relations.
Obama is in the midst of persuading a stubborn Congress to pass the Iran nuclear deal, a momentous accord that is the culmination of efforts to improve relations between the historically hostile nations.
For decades, America has held a cold, often aggressive stance towards the Middle Eastern country (and vice versa) that stems from the latter's nuclear capabilities. Only in recent times have the two made reconciliatory moves and Obama has been the first president in a long time willing to try easing the tension with success.
His comment, unprecedented and personal, is again an unusual move for an American president who has so often made such unusual attempts to reach out to the Iranian people.
Here is the post in full:
Cover image via Getty Images; Humans Of New York / Facebook