Editor's Picks 10 June 2013

Collection with 12 media items created by Editor's Picks

10 Jun 2013 08:00

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Wartime Oil Refineries Emerge in Raqq...
Raqqa & Aleppo
By salem_rizk
02 Jun 2013

The ongoing conflict in Syria between the President Bashar Al Assad's regime and  the opposition forces has complicated the transfer of oil from Raqqa to western provinces like Lattakia, Tartous, Damascus, and Idlib. The besieged city of Aleppo is one of the main transfer destinations that is suffering from a lack of fuel also one of the hardest to get fuel to.

Syrian opposition forces control the majority of oil wells in the country, most of which are located in the east in the provinces of Raqqa and Deir El-Zor.

The opposition forces do not have the adequate equipment for refining oil. The lack or proper equipment has resulted in using gas barrels that are filled with fuel and placed on a fire. This method produces pollution and a very low grade fuel product. The fuel from this form of extraction harms the vehicles and eventually breaks the engines down by destroying the pistons.


00:40: This is a tank we created to produce fuel. We have a high demand for fuel and we needed to adapt.

00:50: We created a tank with around three to four millimeters of iron bags. We fill it with fuel and then we stir it on the fire for three to four hours.

01:02: We produce three to four barrels of gasoline, diesel, or gas per day.

01:10: We're refining oil in the eastern areas because this is where the wells are located.

01:21: Syrian traders transfer the oil to western provinces like Lattakia, Tartous, Damascus and Idleb along with all the areas under siege that are suffering of lack of fuel.

02:05: How much for one litter?

02:06: 180 SYP ($1.80 USD)

02:09: Local refining?

02:11: From Kafar Abeed

02:13: Regarding gasoline, it’s refined but it’s a very bad quality.

02:20: It has many disadvantages it damages the pistons. They're refining it in the desert and the countryside, in Raqqa and Maskana.

03:05 The gasoline we're getting is from Al Raqqa, it's not even gasoline, It's not properly processed. The vehicles eventually break down because of it.

03:17: The problem is in the injectors and the diesels quality doesn’t let the motors operate properly. If you leave a barrel to the next day, you'll find half of it filled with mud.

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Nigeria Oil Theft (17 of 25)
Bayelsa, Nigeria
By Tife Owolabi
27 Nov 2012

50 year-old,Tula Ebiowei, pours water into the distilling equipment at the illegal refinery camp along the Nun river in the Nigeria's oil rich state of Bayelsa. Thousand of people live below one usd per day despite being blessed with crude oil and ranks seventh large oil producing nation in the world.
Most locals emerge in illicit act of stealing the crude and refined it to break out of poverty circle and also destroying the eco-system with thousand of crude spilling into the rivers.

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Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
09 Jun 2013

Abida, 53, belongs to the Ahmadiyya minority, an Islamic reformist movement persecuted in Pakistan. She left her country in 2009 with her three children after being attacked in their home-town, Gujrat. She is now waiting in Bangkok to travel to Canada, where she will be resettled.

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Fighting with tear gas
By AlFardan
06 May 2012

Anti-government protester returning a tear gas to the riot police in one of the demonstrations in Bahrain

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No Tobacco Day in Pakistan (5 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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Azaz Camp, Syria (39 of 41)
Azaz, Syria
By Michele Pero
06 Dec 2012

Refugee camp of Azaz, Syrian border.
Refugees from Halep and surrounding areas have lost their houses under the bombings. They left Halep with just the clothes they had at the time. They have no documents, no money, no belongings. The refugees believed the could cross the Turkish border to escape the massacres, but after a limited number of refugees were accepted by the Turkish government who settled in the nearby camp of Kilis, the border was closed. They had to settle in the camp right on the Syrian border, waiting for a move that does not arrive.

Turkey cannot take more refugees and cannot do more than what actually it does. The refugees must stay were they are, with no home in Syria anymore, no passport to leave the country, as if convicted to stay in the camp.
The excess number refugees not accepted into Turkey settled in September 2012 under big hangars once used by Syrian customs police for storing and checking goods before letting them pass the border. For months the refugees had to sleep right on the pavement, under hangars, under trucks or any other shelter available. No heating, no running water, no latrines, no roof above their heads.

Tents arrived just at around the middle of November 2012, donated by the Red Crescent of Qatar. Since that, three hangars were filled with tents, then other tents were placed on open ground. In December 2012, the number of refugees at the Azaz camp reached about 7000.

Life at the camp is hard. Volunteers from various ONG such as IHH provide meals every day. Supplies come from world wide relief organizations and volunteer donations, but they are not enough to meet the needs of so many. Tents are not waterproof. The pavement is constantly wet when the rain falls, especially hard for those ones settled on open ground. No electricity is supplied. Water is scarce and is brought in big containers for those who need it most. Heating becomes a real issue with the oncoming winter. Kids are sent to the surrounding fields to gather any burning material, but they cannot go too far since the mine fields protecting the no-man’s land are right at border line next to the camp. Refugees burn dry grass. At dusk, they must make return to their tents, because all around there is no light to even walk. They rest by candlelight in their tents until they fall asleep.
Recently a protest calling for better conditions at the camp was held at the border (see other reportage “Syria - protest in the camp of Azaz”, © Michele Pero) to get attention from the Turkish Governor of the area, with no results. These people must stay here. No place where to go, no place to return to. Convicted, forgotten. No one knows for how long.

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FSA fighter carries old man away from...
Aleppo, Syria
By Jean Carrere
26 Oct 2012

An FSA fighter carries an elderly man across a street to avoid government sniper fire next to the Karm el-Jabal frontline in Aleppo. The old man, reluctant to let the fighting affect his daily walks, is too slow to avoid the army's sniper, and often gets assistance from the rebels.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (3...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

Tomato and potato soup being cooked at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. The same doctor reported high incidence of diarrhea, lung infections and hepatitis A among the population of nearly 3600 displaced Syrians.

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Warsaw, Poland
By Agnieszka Adamek
09 Feb 2011

Konrad Modzelewski performs mainly in front of child audience. It is his only source of income.

Cost: Konrad Modzelewski
Written and directed by Agnieszka Adamek
Photos: Matthew Wołoczko, George Bończyk
Editing: Mark Marlikowski
Production: oognet.pl

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African Wood Company Seeks to Refores...
Yatta, Kitui - Kenya
By Ruud Elmendorp
14 Nov 2012

The Africa Wood Grow company is trying a new angle on replanting, and combatting deforestation. They hope to make their endeavor lucrative, and attractive to business owners who need lumber, and other wood products.

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"Living the Love" - Documentary about...
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
By Gloria Kurnik
08 Feb 2012

In depth portrait of the Hindu Thaipusam festival held annually in Malaysia in January. A unique take on the events through the eyes of a participating couple.
This short documentary is produced in a "personal journey" or "character driven" style.

Piercing the body out of faith is a custom in most of the oldest religions. Though it may induce fear, doubt and anxiety, it is also associated with a certain sense of mysticism and spirituality. The viewer witnesses here the Thaipusam - the magical Hindu festival where devotees in a state of trance, painlessly carry offerings in the form of heavy burdens and/or have a range of intriguing attachments hooked to their body.

But beyond the images of unbelievable crowds and fanfare, the viewer can also witness the love, trust and devotion merging into an expression of faith through self-sacrifice.

For many, Thaipusam is all about the flourish and the obscure customs. For many tourists, it is the defining evidence of the unique multi-cultural life in Malaysia. For many amateur photographers, it’s one of those places where you capture that ‘one’ unforgettable picture. For some it's a story of love...