This is Mohannad. I don't even know where to begin telling you about him. I first met him close to 10 years ago, when he was a roommate of a friend of my sister-in-law. I hadn't seen him for at least 4 years when he came to our house for a bbq on Memorial Day this year. It was a pleasure to see him again - and I had almost forgotten the wonderfully fresh perspective he brings to conversations, the honesty and forth-right nature that he possesses, and the depth of vocabulary and artful mix of words that he uses. I think it comes from the fact that English is not his mother tongue -- in fact he speaks with a British accent because he started learning English at the age of 3 from a tutor in Saudi Arabia who spoke Oxford English. (yes, it all makes sense now!) He was born in Pakistan (moved to Saudi Arabia) and came to Minnesota (Mankato) to go to college and is still here. (I hope I got all of the history right.)
So, he showed up at our house on Memorial Day and was full of stories about an independent film that he was working on. He is a producer and the lead actor in the movie, which completed filming in August and is currently in post-production. But that day, he also could not stop beaming about his new love - this vintage Mercedes. I won't try to tell you about the make/model because it all just went over my head - but he let Souliyahn take it for a spin, and I got to sit in the front seat - and let me just say that it was a lot of fun to cruise down the highway with the windows open. As Mohannad says,"She is a high-performance vehicle" .....
The night of our first photoshoot, Paige, Phon, Souliyahn and I were sitting down to a tasty stew and one thing led to another and I ended-up calling Mohannad to see if he would let us use his car for our next shoot. He said he would love to support me in that way and of course.
So, he arrived to the second shoot (the one with Beverly) right from work (he's a teacher at Dunwoody)and Paige thought that in addition to the car, it would be fun to add Mohannad as model in some of the shots - and I am so glad she did, because I think he brings something entirely fresh to the mix. He is a natural in front of the camera.
I hadn't spoken to Mohannad much after the shoot because I knew that he was in the middle of filming. But I shared some texts with him on a random day off .... and he informed me that he had crashed the car. Yes. This car! He had rear-ended a big truck of some kind and the whole front-end was smashed-up. NO WAY! Can't even imagine it, and I don't have to, because I can look at it fully intact. These photographs are a time capsule of sorts. Lovely timing!
Thank you Mohannad! For the car and for you.
All photos by: Paige DeWees