Inspiring Our Youth to be Active Global Citizens

Children - Educational
140 Pages
Reviewed on 05/31/2021
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Author Biography

Born in New York City, award-winning author Robert Abad has spent the last thirty years studying developing countries and capturing life through the lens of his trusty pocket-sized cameras. A prolific traveler, mentor and teacher, Robert has shared his knowledge and unique insights on global trends and emerging markets with universities, corporations, governments and media outlets globally. Away from his career in finance, Robert is passionate about world culture, history, storytelling and film. He holds Master's degrees from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and Columbia Business School, and is a graduate of New York University and Regis High School.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

“When you look at the images of protests going on in a number of countries, you see young people leading the way. They’re demanding not just change, but attention and action.” Those are the well-formulated thoughts of Ariella Abad, age 12. She and her sister have annotated and assisted their father, Robert Abad, in his testament to youth, his photo collage of children in third-world countries. His book, Moment, is a compelling insight into the world out there, all of it, good and the not-so-good. The purpose of this photo collage is to introduce young people to a world beyond their perimeters, to make them “think outside the box.”

Too often young people are trapped in a stereotypical view of the world. We’re all guilty of that, actually seeing what is closest and dearest to us, but not venturing further beyond. Robert Abad’s photographs take the reader/viewer deeper into the esthetics and reality of the world as a whole. Photographs of children playing games we take for granted using only what they can find as equipment, using space littered with debris and who-knows-what-else. The author has accompanied these photos with quotes from famous thinkers from around the world. l like Salman Rushdie’s quote, “The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step out of the frame.” And, Jorge Luis Borges’ quote, which certainly defines this book’s title, “Any life is made up of a single moment; the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is.” He also included some anonymous well-known sayings, like “Never lose your sense of wonder.” The result is a powerful, very thorough, thought-provoking book to study and appreciate, something to hopefully inspire young people to reach out, explore, be adventurous, to understand what is out there. And, yes, with photographs and quotations like this, the book can still be a fascinating coffee table book, one to open up multiple avenues of discussion amongst family and friends.

Lesley Jones

In Moment by Robert Abad, for the last thirty years, Robert has traveled across Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and captured the true essence and spirit of humanity. He discovered that although the countries had differing cultures and beliefs, there were also many shared values such as pride in their nation, love and loyalty, gratitude, and a strong desire to build a better world for future generations. Since the introduction of the internet, people are now more aware than ever of global issues and have become more educated and passionate about matters such as the environment and social, racial, and gender inequalities and discrimination. However, there are still many that hold negative beliefs regarding those they perceive as 'different' to themselves. Through social and media conditioning, they have developed prejudices and biases towards other countries around the world. Hopefully, this collection of thought-provoking photography can go a long way to show that although our cultures, appearances, and backgrounds may differ, our similarities far outweigh our differences.

The beautiful and powerful images throughout this collection truly encapsulate the very best of humanity. Robert Abad has managed to capture so much emotion and realism, especially in the photographs of the children. I found many of the images quite poignant such as the children playing together in the discarded rubbish. Their expressions of gratitude and happiness were truly touching and taught me the true meaning of gratitude and happiness. As adults, we forget the essence of who we are and can become complacent. We also lose the courage to dream big and believe in ourselves. I think we have a great deal to learn from the younger generation and also a responsibility to be positive role models. This superb compilation also gives a very compelling look inside many countries that we have been conditioned to believe are unwelcoming, such as Cuba, the Middle East, and the Soviet Union. I believe this collection will inspire many to step out of their comfort zone and experience fully the diverse, colorful, and exciting places around the globe. There are so many images that will stay with me but the one that truly sums up what this collection is about is the phrase on the door in Panama: 'I don't have Facebook, my life is real.' To truly live we must leave our usual surroundings and experience many different cultures and travel is the finest way to do this.

Kristine Zimmerman

Moment by Robert Abad takes you on a journey through the emerging world, using photos that he has taken since the early 2000s. Moment is divided into four sections; Asia, Eastern Europe which includes Russia and Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and finally Latin America. Each section starts with a map and the photos are labeled with the country they were taken in and the date. Peppered throughout the book are inspirational and thought-provoking quotes. The photos themselves provide glimpses into everyday life in each country. Many of the photos include children and families, not typical tourist attractions.

Each photo in Moment truly captures a moment in time. As you peruse the book, some images show the universality of the world, a mom carrying her young child, kids playing or going to school. Other images show the differences in our world from how people buy eggs in Turkey, to people taking showers under pipes in India. Many of us will never get the opportunity to travel the world and yet we are more and more connected to people from other parts of the world. Moment offers kids and adults the chance to recognize our common humanity and gain an understanding of what life is like around the globe. My favorite quote from the book is an Arab proverb – 'Learn a Language and You’ll Avoid a War.' Robert Abad has given us a chance to learn about people and places across the world through his interesting photographs. Kids will be inspired when reading this book and may find they want to travel.

Rolanda Lyles

Robert Abad's Moment portrays the world from a unique global perspective. Abad gives us a glimpse of life in other parts of the world through candid “moments” in the daily lives of children across Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. The photos used are from his 30 years of traveling. The pictures are taken with his Canon PowerShot and iPhone, capturing firsthand the immense changes taking place in these regions. Pictures range from portraying the rich history of China and how they are progressing in technology to harsh living conditions in places like India. One thing that I found in common for all of the locations was that the children played and were happy in every situation. I found it amazing that people who don't have the same advantages as others were happy, contented, and grateful for what they had. It gave me an appreciation for what I have, and I hope that Abad's photos remind us all not to take things for granted.

Robert Abad is aware that stereotyping, xenophobia, racism, and discrimination run deep in our global society, and this threatens connectivity and inclusion. He attempts to address this issue by creating a book that can, hopefully, play a role in sparking lively and enriching conversations that can help dispel many common biases and misconceptions. I believe that Abad's portrayal of the various backgrounds across the world gives a different vantage point and fosters an appreciation for humanity. Abad's focus for the book is on children because it's easy for children to develop preconceived notions about the world and other people based simply on what they see and hear in their immediate surroundings. What I saw was that, even on the other side of the world, we all are the same. We are all people that share love, happiness, sadness, and an array of other emotions and feelings. I hope that anyone else looking at Abad's book can appreciate the candid moments of honesty and see the world through the eyes of others.