Stories behind her lens

Lynsey Addario had a burning passion for seeking the truth that lies behind what we think and what we know. She witnessed an uprising as it unfolded and watched people fight to the death for their freedom. She committed her life to being a conflict photographer in the Middle East where she covered war, human rights, and the treatment of women.

A photographer who is an inspiration of hers, Robert Capa said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” This held true for Addario because photographing in Libya meant being in the line of fire.

“Photography has shaped the way I look at the world, it has taught me to look beyond myself and capture the world outside,” Addario said. “It’s also taught me to cherish the life I return to when I put the camera down.”

Addario feels privileged to capture things others don’t. She is fearless and resilient. To chase dreams as far as she did, there was no denying this was her calling and her purpose.

“When I am doing my work, I am alive and I am me.” Addario said, “It’s what I do, and I am sure there are other versions of happiness, but this one is mine.”

In many cases she was the voice for people, she told their stories and had access to their most intimate moments. She was addicted to the thrill; the thrill of being on the front line, the thrill of learning something new every day, and especially the thrill of creating art and contributing it to the world’s database of knowledge.

What makes her story so compelling is how she ran toward what most would run from. She didn’t let the fear of never returning home stand in her way. After being kidnapped twice and seriously injured in a car accident she continued to move onward with her journey.

Addario longed to educate people using the rawest form of emotion possible. She felt an urge to influence them to make a change in the world, photograph by photograph.

As her journey in photography continued, she faced a time when her homeland was under attack but she wasn’t there to witness or capture it. 9/11 reminded Addario of why she was doing what she was doing.

Addario felt the calling to tell others’ stories for what they really were even while being in danger. She wanted to deliver the real image of the Pakistan women and photograph times like when Baghdad fell to the U.S. soldiers.

She learned from 9/11 that these Pakistan women believed the attacks were justified after years of American support for Israel and discriminatory policies against the Palestinians.

She got to see inside a world that many don’t know and many fear. She became accustom to witnessing death. She became accustomed to the hatred of the U.S. but she always remained focused. Addario felt that she would be able to help Americans understand it from the other side.

“I became fascinated by the notion of dispelling stereotypes or misconceptions through photographs, of presenting the counterintuitive,” Addario wrote.

Lynsey shares her reasons why she does what she does with PBS. She answers a series of questions in an interview with Jeffrey Brown. Here is the link:



Yoga Warrior

Karen Dubs, a 1991 graduate of Towson, lost her brother in a tragic car accident.

“One day he was here and the next he was gone,” Dubs said.

This is what led her to find her future.  She went on a journey to find peace of mind and traveled to India, which is known as the birthplace of yoga.

Today, she is an authentic yoga instructor. She started her own business called Flexible Warrior in 2001 with the intention of helping athletes as well as other individuals.

In the early stages her career, she was diagnosed with Lime’s Disease after it went unnoticed for two years.

“I didn’t ever think I was going to feel good again,” Dubs said. “I felt like I was living in a box. I couldn’t go too far out of the box as far as my health is concerned.”

As she began to understand her limitations she realized that she must focus on what she can do instead of what she can’t. She believes in the importance of self-love and self-care.

“If you don’t take care of yourself, you have nothing to give to anyone else. Self-care must come first if you want to make a difference in the world,” Dubs said.

Karen explained that ninety percent of the people who come to her are either sick or injured.

“When given an obstacle, you have two choices, you can turn it into a blessing and a gift or you can let it destroy you.” Dubs said.

A cancer survivor, Ivelisse Page, was given an 8 percent chance of living when she first met Karen. Years later, Ivelisse is thriving because of her. Ivelisse founded Believe Big which is an organization that supports cancer patients through “hope, help, and healing.”

When Karen is not working she spends her time raising money for different charities like Believe Big. She hosts yoga events at her own leisure in different areas to support organizations and reach the biggest audience possible. She also created a campaign for people to donate in return of a DVD.

Along with loving yoga, Karen also loves dogs. She advocates the importance of rescuing a dog from a shelter instead of a breeder. BARCS takes in 12,000 dogs a year in hope of finding them a new home. She was able to raise over $2000 for the shelter.

“It is good karma for me to do what I love which is yoga and donate my time instead to help people that ultimately help the charities.” Dubs said.

The yoga that Karen teaches her clients is focused on the seasons. Spring is the beginning of new life, where Summer is laid back, it is much more relaxed. Fall is about renewal and starting over again. The holidays are focused on showing gratitude while Jan, Feb, and March are about reigniting your goals for the year ahead. Yoga is a symbolic form of expression and can mean more than just stretching.

“Through everything I’ve learned that you’ll never really be ready, you just do it. You learn by just doing it,” Dubs said. “And the simplest things make the biggest differences.”