Behind the Lens: Photographing the President in 50 Countries

Today, President Obama visits Kenya — the 50th country he has visited during his Administration. It’s also my 50th country traveling with the President.

To mark the occasion, as I did when the President visited his 50th state, I chose one photograph from each country that we’ve visited.

Traveling abroad with the President is very different.

Often times, I am at the mercy of the host country for access. Some countries are more accommodating to me than others. I am lucky to have counterpart official photographers in many countries who are extremely helpful to me in this regard. I of course try to return the help to them when they visit the White House with their head of state.

We’re also rarely in any one country for more than a couple of days, which gives us only a partial glimpse of each place. And because of security, the sites we are able to visit are often limited too.

All that said, we’ve had the incredible opportunity to visit the Pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge in the United Kingdom, the Great Wall in China, Petra in Jordan, and the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar (Burma). (So I really shouldn’t complain too much.)

I hope you enjoy this gallery. And stay tuned — we’ll be adding a photograph from Kenya and additionally, Ethiopia, following his visit next week.

Afghanistan, 2012

Boarding Air Force One at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, May 1, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Empowering Women Through Education

Dr. Biden meets with students in an English class

Dr. Biden meets with students in an English class at the Anjuman-i-Islam Saif Tyabji Girl's school. (Photo Credit: Carrie Levay)

As an educator, today was a special day for me in Mumbai. I visited the Anjuman-i-Islam Saif Tyabji Girl’s school. This all-girls Muslim school was founded in 1939 and serves 5,500 girls in grades K-12. The school has committed itself to being a dedicated public servant in the Mumbai area - many of the students are from local orphanages. I am happy to report that the US has recognized what an important role this school plays in the Mumbai community - we sponsor English classes and helped establish their computer lab. India and the US both understand the important opportunities education can provide - no matter the gender of the student. When the work force has access to education it creates more experienced workers as well as confident young women.

When I arrived at the school I was greeted by a lively band and then stopped by an English class. In fact, I caught the beginnings of a lesson on "conjunctions!" One of the students, Miss Zafar, was a spirited emcee and gave me a wonderful introduction to all the students at a school assembly.

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