Who is Hussain? I wasn’t aware of him before this peaceful march started sweeping before me yesterday lunchtime. Sipping a typically unremarkable Starbucks coffee and chomping on overpriced caramel waffles, I blankly stared at the Queen Street pedestrians pouring this way and that in central Cardiff.
Then the march began, as these marches tend to, from the upper end. It appeared well coordinated and well attended, a sprinkling of police uniforms amongst them.
I slopped my unremarkable coffee as I stood, cursing the few seconds required to fix the stupid plastic lid, whilst grappling with the camera in my bag and wiping sticky crumbs from my face. A picture of fluid photographer grace I cannot have looked.
The 7D attached to my 50mm, I recklessly left my coffee on an ‘out of the way’ ledge and took a four minute wander to see what I could shoot.
I’m always fascinated by marches of this kind, whether angry and emotional or, as in this case, peaceful and calm. It’s a sociological interest: who is open to hearing a new message and who is not. There can be a gentle undercurrent that may or may not rise to the surface through the different cultures, ideologies and religions. Humans tend to feel strongly about these things.
At 1pm on an overcast but acceptable Friday near Christmas, the organisers had picked a great time. Queen Street bulged with flowing pedestrians, shoppers and office workers. Flowers were passed to strangers along with a CD and a leaflet, all with the intention of educating people about Hussain ibn Ali.
Many seemed open and happy to see, hear and learn of the message. Some appeared bewildered and a little confused.
Who is Hussain?
The literature given out says he was the grandson of the prophet Mohammed and was born in 620AD, known for his integrity, generosity and truthfulness. One quote reads: “Hussain gave everything he had, including his life, for the greater good and for the benefit of those around him, an his epic legacy continues to inspire millions across the world on a daily basis.”
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