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The Story of the “Shepherd Boy”

October 2013

“Shepherd Boy” is the name of the photograph that graces Bread for the World’s 2013 Christmas cards. As in previous years, Bread for the World members were given an opportunity to help select this year’s Christmas card image— they overwhelmingly voted for this photo, which brings to mind the shepherd who first heard the good news of Jesus’ birth. But who exactly is the boy in the photo and who is the photographer who captured this image?

The photographer’s name is Shehab Uddin — a freelance photographer from Bangladesh who is currently pursuing his doctorate in visual arts. He also teaches classes in photography at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.

Through photography, Uddin aims to not only capture the stories of people in poverty, but to connect those stories with his own life and the lives of others. To make it not just “their story” but “our story,” he says.

So what is the story of the “Shepherd Boy” photo? Uddin shot the photo on the island of Dhal Char, which is south of Bangladesh, a place that he says could “disappear in a short period of time from the map,” due to global warming. He wanted to portray the liveliness and beauty of the island so that it would always be remembered. Uddin says that the village “felt like home because it was similar to how I grew up. I was not a stranger there. I still miss that life.”

The young man in the photo is named Hashem. He lives on the island with his family. Uddin was struck by the interaction between Hashem and the lamb he carried—they weren’t just boy and pet, but friends.

Uddin said the lamb looks as if it’s a statue. This stillness made him feel that if he were to go back to Dhal Char, he would find this exact same moment again. “The child could be myself,” he said.

We thank Uddin for capturing this beautiful image and wish him the best of luck as he continues on his mission to show the beauty and dignity of people from all walks of life around the world.

A pack of 10 Bread for the World Christmas cards and envelopes is just $15, shipping included. Order the 2013 card featuring Uddin’s “Shepherd Boy” photo, or cards from previous years, at www.bread.org/store.

Photo: “Shepherd Boy,” the image used for Bread for the World’s 2013 Christmas cards. Photo by Shehab Uddin/Majority World.

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