MOMENT BOOK ONE
For the last 30 years, I've traveled across the emerging world - Asia, eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America - with my trusted Canon PowerShot and iPhone chronicling firsthand the immense changes taking place in these regions. On these trips, I've been humbled and moved by the vibrancy and passion of our youth - their loyalty to family and community, entrepreneurial spirit, deep sense of activism and national pride. But these traits should not be surprising to anyone; they are truly universal.
Through the unprecedented reach and impact of social media, today's youth are much more connected, opinionated and energized to tackle social, environmental, economic and racial issues than at any other point in our modern history. And looking at the mix of people recently demonstrating in various protests around the world, it’s increasingly clear that our global youth are at the forefront demanding change and action.
My daughters, Sofia and Ariella (pictured here), are active participants in this global movement. They recognize that many of today's young people, like them, have found their voices and that as a group, they have the energy and the numbers to effect positive change. But they're also aware that stereotyping, xenophobia, racism and discrimination run deep in our global society and threaten connectivity and inclusion. Thankfully, they recognize that these detrimental, pernicious beliefs are not innate to human beings. Rather, these limiting beliefs are taught and reinforced over time.
This is what gave birth to MOMENT.
In this day and age, it's easy for children to develop preconceived notions about the world and other people based on simply what they see and hear in their immediate surroundings. By showing kids the world from a unique global perspective - through candid "moments" in the daily lives of children from other countries - we believe MOMENT can play a role in sparking lively and enriching conversations that can help dispel many common biases and misconceptions. This, in turn, can build understanding and empathy. It can also help foster appreciation for what we all have in common: our humanity. Deep down, we believe these feelings and beliefs are essential to embolden and empower our youth to meet the many challenges they'll face throughout their lives.
If the images and quotes in MOMENT can inspire and motivate the next generation of young trailblazers, dreamers and problem solvers to learn new languages, develop an appreciation for literature, history and geography and see the world through the eyes of others, then our journey in creating this book will be truly worthwhile.
Robert O. Abad