Editor's Picks 4 June 2013

Collection with 12 media items created by Editor's Picks

04 Jun 2013 08:00

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Ankara Protest (26 of 30)
Ankara, Turkey
By Amy Hume
02 Jun 2013

What started as a protest to save Gezi Park, in Istanbul, has turned into countrywide protests. In Turkey's capital city, Ankara, peaceful protestors were met with tear gas and water cannon. The protests have now escalated into a call for PM Tayyip Erdoğan to step down from power.

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Reyhanlı Police Violence
Reyhanlı, Turkey
By Ibrahim Karci
18 May 2013

During the first week of a bomb attack in Reyhanlı, a Turkish town on the Syrian border, where dozens of people killed. People gathered to protest the governmet policy and make draw media attention to the place where the bomb exploded. First they were blocked by police, resulting with violence against victims' families.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (4 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--A man leads his camel around the arena at Pelitkoy Camel Wrestling tournament before a match.

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Transition (Part 1 of 2)
Moscow, Russia
By Marina Fonda
03 Apr 2013

PART 2: http://transterramedia.com/media/18536

Wissam is a Journalism student in Moscow and former Syrian Army officer. After being forbidden by his advisor teacher of writing his final paper on the farce of Russian coverage of the conflicts on Syria, a brainwashing aimed to make Russians stand by Bashar al Assad and the Russian government protecting him, he decides to head back to his homeland to make a film and show Russians what's really going on in his country. The film depicts Wissam's entrance in Syria by a Free Syrian Army controled border, citizens running from snipers and their stations working mode, temporary hospitals, refugees crossing the border with Turkey, destroyed Suni mosques, schools, residential buildings by government army's bombs and contains interviews with refugees (internal and fleeing abroad), injured, FSA soldiers etc.
This is a 26 min, full-HD documentary film.

Transcription:

(VO) My name is Wissam and I'm from Syria, I'm a student of Journalism in my final year ...In Moscow The reason why I came to study in a country that lacks freedom of press is that Russia was the only country to give me a visa after I resigned. Oh, I forgot to tell you... I was an officer in the Syrian army

(VO) After the Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad's death, his son Bashar inherited the power for that, the Constitution was amended, in the world's fastest assembly. The former Constitution demanded that the minimum age for being president should be 40 years of age. They've changed it for 34, the age of Bashar at the time I realized it was about time to write my resignation letter and leave Syria I didn't see my mom for the last 8 years I was afraid of visiting my family in Syria since an old friend from the army told me I was wanted by the Syrian intelligence they've received a report from the embassy in Moscow saying I was against the regime I remembered my father at that point When I was a kid, he used to say: “The walls have ears” By that time, I didn't understand He lived 79 years in fear. When I was in the army, he advised me not to speak about the regime in front of other officers I used to find it funny, him worried about me, and then he told me: “These people are criminals, you didn't see what I saw” Once, he told me about an event so that I could understand his uncommon fear of the regime He told me how the army came and took one person from each house during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, in 1980, in Aleppo They took around 100 people, among them children and elderly. It was a very difficult moment for my father, when he saw his childhood friends lined against the wall and get executed These crimes were called Al Mashariqa Massacre, named after the neighborhood where it occurred That's how Hafez al-Assad controlled the country for 3 decades, committing the worse massacres of these times The most famous of them was the Hama Massacre In this city, he killed dozens of thousands of civilians through shelling and artillery in 1982

(VO) In March 2011, the revolution began in Syria I realized then that the blood series started again The dictator inherited from his father not only the country, but also his criminality The difference this time was the will of the people, which had already changed with the generations The dictator used all means of intimidation, such as executions, torture and rape to eliminate the peaceful protests He counts on the support of loyal states, such as Iran and Russia, which provide him with weapons and hinder international resolutions against him But with the continuous bloodshed, people decided to take up arms and defend themselves After the liberation of wide areas in Aleppo, I decided to go back there where I grew up and from where I was away for a long time

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The Pilgrimage (7 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
29 Dec 2012

In the 1500s, King Lalibela had 11 churches hewn from a 'mother rock' in order to create a holy place underground safe for pilgrims to worship and evade detection. The result was so captivating that the first European to enter the site wrote "I am weary of writing more about these buildings, because it seems to me that I shall not be believed if I write more." Lalibela's vision ensured continued worship for hundreds of years, with masses of the pious still congregating each Christmas. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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Surviving In A Ghost Town, Halep, Syr...
Aleppo, Syria
By Michele Pero
02 Dec 2012

Downtown Halep, quarters of Bustan al-Pasha and Sakhour, December 2012.
The town is partially controlled by the brigades of the Free Syria Army. Snipers, hidden in isolated buildings, necessitate a fast crossing through the large and open avenues. Some people try to continue their normal life downtown, still living in their houses, even if the majority have left for the refugee camps at the borders of the country.

MIGs and helicopters of the Bashar Al Assad regime are continuously releasing rockets and barrel-bombs over the buildings. A quick look at the sky, some strikes, the blast and gray smoke lifts not too far from where we are. Another building hit, some people wounded and injured will be soon added to the list.

Daily life in Halep is pretty scary. The regime is now releasing big barrels filled with explosives. They release these bombs over the town, anywhere they like. No targets are aimed. They throw them here and there. No one is safe in any shelter. Shelters actually don’t work. Halep is a very ancient town and buildings are very weak. In spite of that, some citizens are still keeping their homes there, still trying to lead a normal life, together with the rebels of the Free Syria Army which fight on two front lines: one against the regular forces of the regime, one other against the Kurdish minority which supports the regime. In the middle, the citizens of Halep, try to survive in a ghost town, partially destroyed, under the daily bombings of such madness.

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No Tobacco Day in Pakistan (4 of 6)
Karachi, Pakistan
By Syed Yasir Iqbal Kazmi
31 May 2013

Each year May 31 is observed as World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) with the aim to spread awareness about the ills of tobacco consumption. Tobacco use is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. May 31, 2013, Photo by Yasir Kazmi, Karachi, Pakistan.

Almost 2,500 people die in Pakistan daily due to consumption of tobacco and smoking. Many people suffer from asthma and bronchitis, in addition to than cancer and heart attacks.

Tobacco use is rising in Pakistan, with about 30.7 per cent of men estimated to be smokers, Pakistan stands at the brink of a devastating health and economic disaster. The steep rise in the use of tobacco amongst the youth, especially young girls and women is depriving the country of a healthy workforce while increasing the burden of disease on an already overburdened health sector.
The fact that approximately 1,200 children start smoking daily represents a huge health and economic impact.
Individuals who smoke cigarettes are 12 times more likely to die from lung cancer, two to four times more likely to develop coronary heart disease, twice as likely to have a stroke, and 10 times more likely to die from chronic obstructive lung disease.
Although many people are aware of health issues involved in smoking, they are unable to quit due to nicotine addiction. However, willpower and personal determination to break free from the addiction play the most crucial role.

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Stuck Between A War & The Turkish Bor...
Azaz, Syria
By Ben Taub
03 Apr 2013

Transit Camp, A’zaz, SYRIA

“My wife will die if she doesn’t have heart surgery in three or four days,” Asad Hoammed lamented as he prepared tea in his UN refugee tent. But getting the operation first requires getting her out of war-torn Syria and into a Turkish hospital that would somehow be willing to treat her for free.

It’s been more than a month since Mr. Hoammed and his wife left their hometown of Tall Rifat seeking Turkish medical care, but having no money to begin a new life outside Syria has made the crossing impossible. Instead, they ended up in a refugee transit camp on the northern border with roughly 13,000 other Syrians waiting either to get into Turkey or for the war to end so they can go home and rebuild.

Most fled intense violence and shelling in and around Aleppo.

The tea was still too hot to drink, so Mr. Hoammed lit a cigarette. He took a slow drag as Syrian regime fighter jets bombed rebels laying siege to a military airport a few miles away. The distant thundering rattled none and inspired a few prayers for those likely killed, but the proximity posed no risk. Those few miles make a serious difference, as the transit camp is situated at the edge of the Turkish border. Any approaching jet would risk obliteration by Turkish air defenses.

Still, the transit camp isn’t a safe place to live. “One person is sick in every tent,” insisted the men gathered on Mr. Hoammed’s tarp floor. They blamed it on dirty drinking water.

Dr. Al-Nasr, who works for a group called “Medical Relief for Syria,” acknowledged the spread of disease is a dire situation but disputed that refugees’ drinking water is tainted in any way. “It’s a problem with sanitation, how to dispose of the bathing water and used toilet water,” he said. “There are lakes of waste in some areas.”

Most of the camp’s water and insect-linked health issues, such as diarrhea and scabies, are treatable. But when addressing complex civilian health emergencies, there’s simply no good option in northern Syria.

According to Dr. Al-Nasr, Turkish authorities will grant access and free hospital care if failure to perform a major operation would have urgent and imminent consequences. But how imminent is imminent? Mr. Hoammed thinks his wife has just a few days left to live, and that any action now may be too little, too late.

He paused for a moment, then reached for a plastic bag hanging from the tent wall from which he produced a coin-purse full of pills and a small Chinese charm sent by a business contact in Beijing two years ago. That was when his wife first fell ill. “This charm is to protect her health,” wrote the Chinese businessman.

At that time, Mr. Hoammed worked in a weapons manufacturing facility for the Syrian government. Soon after the war began, he defected and returned home to Tall Rifat. His two sons picked up arms a few months later, Abdel with the Free Syrian Army and Hamoud with Jabhat al-Nusra, the well-trained Islamist faction that also hopes to take down the Syrian regime.

Mr. Hoammed hasn’t seen his sons since he and his ill wife arrived at the transit camp in late February. Tonight he intends to plead his case and seek free crossing and heart surgery for the woman he has lived with and loved through war and peace.

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Bolivian Female Wrestlers / Multimedia
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Bolivian Wrestlers fight back against the dominant culture of machismo and discrimination. Photo Essay also available: see the image collection here: http://transterramedia.com/collections/928

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Holocaust Survivor's Experiences Conn...
Israel
By upheavalproductions
20 Apr 2011

Dr. Hajo Meyer is a Holocaust survivor and anti-Zionist activist. He has been conducting a speaking tour titled "Never Again For Anyone," sharing his experiences of surviving Auschwitz and his perceptions of Zionism and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

This video is a selection of clips from an interview with Dr. Meyer on February 19, 2011 and discusses his views of the antagonistic relationship between Zionism and Judaism.

Produced by Upheaval Productions.

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The Light In The Cave (Subtitles)
Afghanistan
By sarakeawal
24 Sep 2010

This film features the story of the filmmaker, Suleiman Amanzad, who survived the genocide of the residents of Bamyan province in central Afghanistan by the Taliban in 1999. The filmmaker was four years old when the Taliban captured their village and began massacring people.

His family and other villagers hid themselves in a cave near the village, and this is how they survived the genocide. After that the family of the filmmaker move to Kabul, where Suleiman gets a chance to go to school. He also gets a scholarship from the US Embassy of Kabul and attends one year of high school in the United States.

The film is eight minutes long.