Arlington Virginia Senior Portrait
Matt Mendelsohn Photography
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Not Forgotten: Yorktown Seniors 2020

Arlington Virginia Senior Portrait

I photographed Dilara a few hours ago and we talked about food some more. Turkish food, specifically. Dilara is Turkish-American and I had a wonderful chat with her family as they stood on the porch and I yelled from the sidewalk. Dilara loves her and yearly trips back to Turkey, though like everything else in this mess, this year’s journey might be in jeopardy. Dilara is holding something that anyone who has ever traveled to Turkey (or Greece, where my wife grew up) will recognize—an evil eye. As her family explained, “in Turkish, it’s Nazar Boncuḡu (pronounced nah-zahr bone-jugh-u); the idea behind it is that it is worn or put in a room to ward off evil intentions, so it is considered a “protector”. If the Boncuk breaks, it means that it protected you from bad wishes of some kind. It is a huge part of Turkish culture and many people wear them daily as jewelry. You will always find Dilara wearing one, whether it be a ring, necklace, or bracelet. We are hoping ours will protect us from the coronavirus!” I give you Dilara O., Yorktown High School Class of 2020.

Location: Arlington, Virginia.