Angelo Merendino Photography
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"My late wife Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer five months after our wedding, and she passed less than four years later. During Jen's treatment we noticed that most people, even those who were closest to us, didn't understand the challenges we faced while living with an incurable disease. At times, sadly, we watched  our support group fade in and out of our life. In an effort to communicate with our loved ones, Jennifer allowed me to photograph our day-to-day life. Our hope was that these photographs would show the side of breast cancer that isn't pink ribbons and fundraisers."

The Refugee Response

"My name is Hsar Lar Doe.  I am 32 years old.  I was born in Gee Lo,  a small village in the Burma countryside;  my family were farmers.  My village was a "Dark Zone:"  The soldiers didn’t need permission to kill villagers.  I was four years old when my father was killed by Burmese soldiers who suspected that our village was giving food to the rebel forces.  I didn’t see it happen and I only remember him from a picture.  I cannot say what his real face looks like.   

In 1995 my younger brother,  Kree Kre,  and I left the village with our grandparents;  we went to a refugee camp located on the border of Burma and Thailand.  Everybody wanted to go to the camp,  but there is not enough room,  so parents often stay behind.  It was hard to say goodbye to my mom.

I lived in the refugee camp for nearly 15 years.  The camp was controlled by the Thai authorities.  They gave us a little bit of food and told us to stay inside the camp.  We did not have any chance to find money or work outside of the camp.  You don’t have any rights or freedom inside the refugee camp; life was really like being in a cage."

Excerpt from story originally posted at

Algebra Tea House

"I was born into Islam, but I saw the beauty of Islam in the United States," says Ayman.

In his youth, his parents were not practicing Muslims. "At that time, in the 1970s and 1980s, a lot of the Arab world started following the West. They started believing in secular religion and the division between church and state. A lot of them took on the thinking that they had to leave Islam, and Islam is backward."

But Ayman had started to grow restless with his lifestyle. "I was living, you know, drinking and other stuff and being in the arts, but I needed to find myself. After you accomplish certain things in your life, like I wanted to be an artist, so I became an artist; I wanted to have a couple of write-ups in the newspapers and have recognition, I have that; I wanted to make a little bit of money and I made it; OK, what's next? These are my worldly desires and I got those. Of course there is room for growth, but what is next? There has to be something more."

Excerpt from story originally posted at