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Bishwa Ijtema 07
Tongi, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
22 Dec 2014

Night falls in Tongi as Ijtema pilgrims meet one another after evening prayers.

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Bishwa Ijtema 02
Tongi, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
20 Dec 2014

Muslims entered the Ijtema grounds from different in Bangladesh on the first day of Bishwa Ijtema.

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Bishwa Ijtema 03
Tongi, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
20 Dec 2014

Rapid Action Batallion (RAB) forces of Bangladesh monitor the scene of Ijtema from above to make sure everything goes smoothly.

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Bishwa Ijtema 04
Tongi, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
20 Dec 2014

Muslims perform their ablutions before the Ijtema prayers begin.

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Bishwa Ijtema 05
Tongi, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
20 Dec 2014

Muslims gather to attend Bishwa Ijtema in Dhaka on the first day of the congress.

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Bishwa Ijtema 01
Tongi, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
16 Dec 2014

Mohammad Mojammel Hoque, 70, is a farmer from the Vola district of Bangladesh. "I come here every year to purify my soul and commune with Allah," he said. "From the scholars, I get to know the true teachings of Islam, so I can follow Islam properly and preach to others how to live the Islamic way.''

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Living Transgender in Pakistan
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
13 Dec 2014

Transgender people live in a precarious position in Pakistan. Despite gains made by the trans community in recent years - Pakistan’s Supreme Court allowed them to get national identity cards recognizing them as a third gender - transgender still face a lot of discrimination in society.

In some sectors of life they are tolerated, though in very defined roles. They often perform as a dancers at weddings and other celebrations where man and woman are strictly segregated. However, most transgender people, called “hijras” in Pakistan, live at the margins of society with very low status. The very word “hijra” is sometimes used in derogatory manner. Transgender have few employment opportunities available, so those who cannot get income performing at ceremonies often resort to begging or sex work.

To fight against discrimination and violence, a group of educated transgender activist are working at the Khawaja Sira Society (KSS) under the umbrella of a local Pakistani NGO called Naz Male Health Alliance. This center provide services for the local transgender community which include HIV/AIDS and STD diagnoses and treatment, and condom and lubricant distribution both via outreach as well as through clinics. At KSS the community find a secure and friendly environment where the  transgender community hopes to strengthen its people.

The United Nations and government estimates in 2012 put the number of HIV/AIDS cases around 87,000 in Pakistan alone with an overall prevalence of HIV infection in adults aged 15 to 49 is 0.1%. However, due to the conservative religious culture, political volatility and security matters, activists have to operate with minimal visibility.

As an Islamic Republic, Pakistan punishes same-sex behavior under Pakistan Penal Code Section 377,  an outdated, colonial law punishing same-sex relationships.

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Palestine: When a School is Illegal
Khan al-Ahmar
By Vinciane Jacquet
14 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan al Ahmar, West Bank, Palestine

The Khan al-Ahmar School serves the children of the Jahalin Bedouin community in the West Bank and has been declared illegal by Israeli authorities. It is now facing possible demolition. Built in 2009, the school was constructed with mud and tires due to a lack of funds and an Israeli law that bans Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank from building structures made of cement. The children now attend school in poorly equipped classrooms with no heating, leaking ceilings, and little electricity. However, it is possible that even this primitive learning environment could be snatched from them at a moment's notice. Over 140 students are currently enrolled in the school. The nearest alternative school is located about 45 minutes away by car. The school's imminent demolition is part of a plan by Israeli authorities to displace the Jahalin Bedouin living in "Area C" of the occupied West Bank. The Khan Al-Ahmar School and Bedouin community is located in the Jerusalem periphery, between the Israeli settlements of Ma'ale Adumim and Kfar Adumim. While the Jahalin Bedouin have a longstanding presence in this area (they settled in the area in 1948, after being evicted by Israel from their lands in the Negev desert), the community and school present an obstacle to Israel's planned settlement expansion and construction of the separation barrier. The community lives with the constant threat of displacement. Every year, the school administration goes to court in order to postpone the planned demolition of the school. This year they were lucky and the court sided with them. However, the order still stands and next year they may not be so lucky.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 26
Narayangonj
By zakir hossain chowdhury
14 Nov 2014

Every year thousands of Hindu devotees gather in front of Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram temple for the Kartik Brati or Rakher Upobash religious festival in Barodi, Near Dhaka, Bangladesh. Faithful sit in front of candles light ( named locally as Prodip ) and absorb in prayer.

Lokenath Brahmachari who is called Baba Lokenath was an 18th Century Hindu saint and philosopher in Bengal. Hindu worshippers fast and pray in earnest to the gods for their favors during the traditional ritual called Kartik Brati or Rakher Upobash

Lokenath Brahmachari devotees pray with light to save their family and dear from cholera and pox disease

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 29
Narayangonj
By zakir hossain chowdhury
10 Nov 2014

Every year thousands of Hindu devotees gather in front of Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram temple for the Kartik Brati or Rakher Upobash religious festival in Barodi, Near Dhaka, Bangladesh. Faithful sit in front of candles light ( named locally as Prodip ) and absorb in prayer.

Lokenath Brahmachari who is called Baba Lokenath was an 18th Century Hindu saint and philosopher in Bengal. Hindu worshippers fast and pray in earnest to the gods for their favors during the traditional ritual called Kartik Brati or Rakher Upobash

Lokenath Brahmachari devotees pray with light to save their family and dear from cholera and pox disease

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 01
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They light lamps and candles and bring offerings of fruit, sweets, nuts and cowÕs milk, praying to Baba Lokenath to save their family and dear ones from curses and disease.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 06
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 12
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 18
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 25
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 02
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They light lamps and candles and bring offerings of fruit, sweets, nuts and cowÕs milk, praying to Baba Lokenath to save their family and dear ones from curses and disease.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 03
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 04
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 05
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 07
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 08
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 09
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 10
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 11
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 13
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 14
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 15
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They light lamps and candles and bring offerings of fruit, sweets, nuts and cowÕs milk, praying to Baba Lokenath to save their family and dear ones from curses and disease.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 16
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 17
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 19
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 20
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 21
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They observe a strict fast and remain sitting absorbed in prayer until the flames burn-out.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 22
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They light lamps and candles and bring offerings of fruit, sweets, nuts and cowÕs milk, praying to Baba Lokenath to save their family and dear ones from curses and disease.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 23
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They light lamps and candles and bring offerings of fruit, sweets, nuts and cowÕs milk, praying to Baba Lokenath to save their family and dear ones from curses and disease.

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"rakher upobas'' prayer 24
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
03 Nov 2014

At the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram near Dhaka, members of BangladeshÕs Hindu community come together to celebrate the ÒRakher UpobasÓ prayer to the god Lokenath Brahmachari, who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition. They light lamps and candles and bring offerings of fruit, sweets, nuts and cowÕs milk, praying to Baba Lokenath to save their family and dear ones from curses and disease.

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India: Surfing in an Artist’s Pallet ...
Kerala
By Berta Tilmantaite
29 Apr 2014

Kerala is the ultimate getaway destination. With its flawless waves and untouched beauty, the southern province of India attracts surfers from all around the world. For the local population, foreign surfers have become a new curiosity. While surfers and fishermen have learned to coexist and share the beaches, a group of foreign surfers has decided to give back to the community by founding the Sunday Surf Club, where they teach locals how to swim, surf and tame the ocean.

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Israeli Forces demolish Al Araqib for...
Al arakib, Israel
By Elo B
26 Aug 2013

Al-Araqib, an unrecognized village of the Al-Turi Arab Bedouin tribe (8 km north of Beersheba), was demolished for the 54th times since July 2010. Israel Land Administration inspectors and some 40 riot police officers stormed the village and 2 bulldozers knocked down three shacks.

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Israeli Forces demolish Al Araqib for...
Al araqib, Israel
By Elo B
26 Aug 2013

Al-Araqib, an unrecognized village of the Al-Turi Arab Bedouin tribe (8 km north of Beersheba), was demolished for the 54th times since July 2010. Israel Land Administration inspectors and some 40 riot police officers stormed the village and 2 bulldozers knocked down three shacks.

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Israeli Forces demolish Al Araqib for...
Al araqib, Israel
By Elo B
26 Aug 2013

Al-Araqib, an unrecognized village of the Al-Turi Arab Bedouin tribe (8 km north of Beersheba), was demolished for the 56th time since July 2010. Israel Land Administration inspectors and some 40 riot police officers stormed the village, and 2 bulldozers knocked down three shacks.

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Israeli Forces Demolish Bedouin Camp ...
Al araqib, Israel
By Elo B
26 Aug 2013

Al-Araqib, an unrecognized village of the Al-Turi Arab Bedouin tribe (8 km north of Beersheba), was demolished for the 56th time since July 2010. Israel Land Administration inspectors and some 40 riot police officers stormed the village and 2 bulldozers knocked down three shacks.