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Final Edit
June 2004
The image we rescued from the cutting room floor.

Final Edit Editor

Design editor Elaine Bradley explains that religion is only one element of the diverse Shiite culture.

Cut It?
"This picture gets at the core of how religious these people are," says design editor Elaine Bradley. "It reinforces an aspect of Muslim culture that our readers have seen many times before. And while we certainly ran pictures that illustrated the Shiites' deep religious devotion—selecting pictures that were especially unique and thought provoking—we also wanted to bring out other aspects of their lives. For instance the Western influence among them, and the way in which Sunnis and Shiites interact."

Or Keep It?
"Being a graphic designer, I'm attracted to pictures that have a graphic appeal," Bradley continues. "I liked this picture because of its geometric feel. The rugs stacked on top of each other form a compelling image with a variety of textures and patterns. On top of all this, the people walking around bring a sense of movement to the picture. They make it come alive."

—Saadia Iqbal

June Final Edit
Photograph by Matt Moyer, WorldPictureNews Send this image as a postcard

Shiites of Iraq
Vantage Point

Seen from above, the courtyard of Imam Ali shrine in Najaf, Iraq, unfolds in a kaleidoscopic field of rugs as Shiite worshippers arrive for prayer. "I love this image because of all the layers and patterns—it's not what Western eyes are used to seeing in a place of worship," says design editor Elaine Bradley.

As the layout of the article took shape, however, it became clear that the picture was too distant—physically and emotionally—for the tone of our article. The editors felt they needed to give readers an up-close look at who the Shiites really are. They wanted to stress the more unexpected diversity and secularism of the people rather than focusing exclusively on religious fervor. "We ended up emphasizing more dynamic images that showed life down at the street level," says Bradley.

—Tom O' Neill

Check out The Shiites of Iraq, the feature story for which this photo was originally taken.
Final Edit Photographer Zoom in on more images by Matt Moyer.

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