Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Can of Worms

If you have a super keen eye you may have noticed that there's a new link listed under the "Other Blogs I Like" section of my blog. I'm not one who generally makes a habit of reading the blogs of people I don't know--not because I don't think there are great writers out there who have important things to say, but mostly because it's a pretty big time commitment to check a bunch of blogs on a daily basis. The one non-friend blog that I actually do check regularly is The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotations, which I find extremely entertaining but only takes about 30 seconds a day to read.

Anyway, there is a blog called Blogs of Note that's created by the managers of the Blogger website. This is where interesting or important blogs get noticed by the blogging community, and as you may remember, it's where I originally found the quotes blog. On the Blogger homepage, there is a sidebar list of the most recent blogs to be featured on Blogs of Note. From time to time I notice a blog title on the list that intrigues me, but by and large I don't look at them, and most that I do look at I find fairly uninteresting or unimpressive. Last weekend, however, I was starting a post of my own when I glanced down at the Blogs of Note list and clicked on a blog called Can of Worms. I'm not even sure what drew me to the title, but after reading just one post I was completely fascinated and inspired.

This blog is written by an American guy who is currently living in Northern Iraq among the Kurdish people. He is an incredible writer and a gifted photographer, and I was immediately drawn to his storytelling, which he does with both words and images. I wanted to understand how he came to live in Iraq and how long he'd been there, so I started reading at his very first post and began moving forward from there. Once I began reading, I just couldn't stop. It was like an amazing book that I just couldn't put down. He wrote about the people he met, the hardships they were facing, the struggles of day to day life there, the funny cultural differences--and it was all just captivating to me! Maybe I was drawn to his stories because I'd just spent time with my friend Michele and heard stories of the culture where she lives, just a few countries away in northeast Africa. Maybe I was just amazed that someone would give up a comfortable life in the states to go help people he's never met halfway around the world. Maybe I just love lots of pictures. :) For whatever reason, I was completely hooked.

As if the stories and pictures weren't mesmerizing enough, his posts chronicled the genesis of an amazing idea to help Kurdish children and its evolution into an incredible website called Buy Shoes. Save Lives. The talented blogger and a friend of his started this business selling handmade Kurdish shoes called klash, with the profits going towards funding heart surgeries for Kurdish children who would die without help. Not only is this endeavor saving the lives of Iraqi children, it's also putting money back into the struggling economy of the region. It was a brilliant plan that was put into action in just a matter of months, and one of the most amazing parts is that one of the founders, the Can of Worms author, is only 23 years old. This 23 year old kid played a major role in founding a company whose sole purpose is saving the lives of disadvantaged Iraqi children. I am blown away by his compassion, vision and courage, as well as his phenomenal ability to turn his journey into a beautifully engaging story.

If you haven't guessed, I think you should take the time to read his blog. I recommend starting from the first post and working your way to the present so that it will all be chronological. I'm confident that you'll be uplifted and inspired--uplifted to know that one young person can make a huge difference in this world just by using the talents that God has blessed him with, and inspired to find your own God-given talents and put them to use towards a cause that is close to you heart.

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