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The Modernization of Morocco's Ancien...
Thagazout, Morocco
By Osie Greenway
02 Mar 2014

Taghazout, Morocco is a small fishing village 12 miles north of the city of Agadir, in the south west of Morocco. The mostly Berber population in the village is estimated to be around 6,000. The main sources of income for the people are tourism, fishing and the production of Argan oil. Taghazout lies on the west coast of Morocco and is known for its abundance in tuna, bonito, and sardines. The village has been a fishing spot for over 100 years, with generations of fathers and grandfathers working side-by-side.

This traditional pastime has changed much in the past decade. Modernization has changed everything, from a shift in traditional livelihoods, to a shift in the type of tourism Moroccans are cultivating in the village. Modern equipment such as boat motors and tractors have cut down on the physical labor - before the tractor, wooden slabs were laid out and men would push and pull the large wood crafts up and down the shore. But this generation of fishermen is aging, and is not being replaced by the young. Young men in Taghazout do not wish to become fishermen as their fathers did, but instead more and more, to tap into the riches of surf tourism, which has become a booming industry in the area. They also commute to the factories nearby for stable work. These new factories sprouting up along the coast line are taking young would-be fishermen away from the village and polluting the waters they fish in.

Surfing tourism began in Taghazout in the early 1970s. It started out as a small surf community, and has since become a globally recognized location for surfers from around the world. Moroccans have bought up real-estate and businesses in the village and surrounding areas to prepare for their future in tourism. They also do this to compete with Saudi Arabian contractors building massive resorts up and down the coast between Agadir and Taghazout.

Tourism in Morocco is becoming a new keystone in the structure of the Moroccan economy. Foreigners come from around the globe to surf the world class surf that surrounds Taghazout and with them comes western culture. Taghazout so far has accepted the cultural and religious distractions without problem and many look forward to a future in the developing town. Some villagers fear what will happen too their culture, traditions, and religion as their culture and trades are turned into a tourism business.

"Without the tourism this town would be dead and the only jobs here would be fishing or the factories", said Tariq Kabbaj, the Mayor of Taghazout.

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LA Doctors Transforming Children's Li...
Amman, Jordan
By Amy Hybels
04 Jun 2013

A team of surgeons from Los Angeles, California flew to Jordan to perform 45 surgeries in just five days on children and young adults living with physical deformities. The trip was organized by the Children of War Foundation, a non-profit which provides access to donated surgical care to children living with physical deformities or injuries. Board member and celebrity doctor Andrew Ordon, a host of "The Doctors", joined the team which included highly specialized surgeons from Children's Hospital Los Angeles. As Amy Hybels reports, the team wasted no time consulting and operating with the doctors at the King Hussein Medical Center on some of their most difficult cases, transforming lives one operation at a time.

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Undiscovered Egypt: A Transterra Medi...
Cairo, Egypt
By U.S. Editor
01 May 2013

A Transterra Media Production produced by Ramy Romany, Nigel Hetherington and Seema Mathur. Sizzle Reel, Screenshots and treatment below. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

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Bogwa: A ritual of Exhumation (16 of 21)
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
11 Mar 2013

Bogwa is celebrated for 3 days and everyday, the organizer of the festivity will butcher pig to feed the entire village.

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The Pilgrimage (25 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
31 Dec 2012

A group of Ethiopian Orthodox Christian pilgrims gather at the edge of Bet Giyorgis for morning prayer. The pilgrims, many dressed in white, travel by foot from all over the populous country to pay tribute in the small mountain town of Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (19 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
31 Dec 2012

Pilgrims rest in the evening near the holy rock churches of Lalibela. In anticipation for the coming Christmas celebration, thousands of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians set up camp in the days leading up to the event. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (14 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
31 Dec 2012

A pilgrim returns to the camp near Lalibela's rock churches. Thousands of the pious will sleep on the fields in anticipation for the upcoming Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas celebration. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (23 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
30 Dec 2012

Clad in tattered robes and blankets, pilgrims follow a priest into a rock church in Lalibela's holy complex. The pilgrims descend from all parts of the country to take part in the prayers during Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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

A group of pilgrims return to their camp after visiting the holy site of Lalibela. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (28 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
29 Dec 2012

A group of pilgrims recite the bible at an early morning prayer at the holy complex of Lalibela. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (8 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
29 Dec 2012

Wrapped in shrouds of early morning mist and cotton, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians stand in prayer at the edge of Bet Giyorgis, the rock church carved to resemble a cross. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, in the small town of Lalibela, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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75th Anniversary of the Nanjing Massa...
Nanjing, China
By amandamustard
13 Dec 2012

Chinese military troops rehearse their ceremonial procession. Thousands gather at the Memorial Hall in Nanjing to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, of which fewer than 200 survivors currently remain. On December 13, 1937, Japanese troops began the occupation of the then capital of China. According to the 1946-1948 Tokyo War Crimes Trials, over 300,000 Chinese were killed and at least 20,000 were raped over the course of six weeks. Hundreds of testimonies, diaries, photographs and film reels depict mass executions and brutal cases of torture and rape. Despite evidence, some Japanese officials have disputed the massacre’s legitimacy. As a formal apology has yet to be made, this disparity remains to be an underlying resentment in Sino-Japanese relations, even after 75 years have past.

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Fears of Economic Depression Loom in ...
Afghanistan
By sarakeawal
24 Apr 2012

The international community is going to hand over full responsibility of the security and defense of Afghanistan to Afghan forces by 2014. It has been declared by the international community that the military pullout of the international forces will be accompanied with a reduction in aid money.

This happens at a time when 90 percent of GDP of Afghanistan is dependent on the foreign aid, and within the past ten years, solid measures to help Afghanistan become self sustainable financially have not been taken by the Afghan government and its international benefactors.

Many in Afghanistan believe that the reduction of aid without solid measures will lead to a financial crisis in Afghanistan, which will pave the ground for political instability and pervasive insecurity.

According to the World Bank's recent report TRANSITION IN AFGHANISTAN LOOKING BEYOND 2014, which came out in November 2011, the reduction in aid money will reduce civilian service delivery and will thus lead to economic depression.

The report says, "Aid for Afghanistan in 2010-11 was about $15.7 billion and World Bank's estimation suggests that a $0.5 billion decline in the external budget, which is going to happen, could affect 11,000-18,000 job opportunities in Afghanistan (on a six-month basis.)

Amar Rezayee, who is 23-year-old Afghan and an employee of one of the projects of USAID, which is the biggest donor in Afghanistan, says,

Translation sound bite #1, Amar Rezayee (USAID employee) (00:57- 1:52): "After 2014 the situation in Afghanistan will get worse because America says that they will take their troops out of Afghanistan, so it will effect security and will also have a bad affect on the economic situation in Afghanistan. Now there are a lot of salaries from USAID that are very high and can help me pay for my tuition at the American University of Afghanistan. But when Americans leave this country there will be high salaries for a limited number of people. Personally for me, it will have a very bad effect and I will not be able to attend this university because I won't be able to pay."

The World Bank report also states that In 2010/11, total public spending, including the “core budget” and “external budget,” was $17.1 billion.

Of this total spending, $15.7 billion was financed by international aid and only $1.9 billion of it was Afghanistan's budget.

Some people in Kabul are already scared of Afghanistan's future after 2014.

Vox Populi:

Translation Sound bite #2 Shafiq saighani (Kabul resident) (2:00-2:27) " If the US leaves Afghanistan, the financial support will be cut from Afghanistan, educational scholarships will be cut from Afghanistan, the unemployment will raise up and not only Taliban but also Iran and Pakistan will interfere in Afghanistan's affairs."

Analysts are also pessimistic about Afghanistan's future because of the foreseeable economic crisis after 2014.

Translation Sound bite #3, Candace Rondeaux (Crisis Group’s senior analyst in Kabul)(2:47-4:33) "The impact of the economical transition and the lack of planning will be tremendous. Politically it increases competition between Afghan elites. but more importantly what it does is it creates an environment of instability and insecurity and that I think will create incentives around the accedes of many, many Afghans for major capital flight, and also it will raise competition and rivalry between communities that could become very, very violent.

The impact of the internationals being present here has increased income tenfold for the average Afghan man. It has created opportunities for Afghan women, which weren't there before. Once all of that collapses, first there is the impact on the family life which is going to be tremendous. Where women once had the ability to go out and work and find some sort of independence, I think that will go away quickly, in fact I think that will be the first thing that will go away. For young men, who have been earning a thousand dollars a month or in some case five thousand dollars if they were working on an international organization, for them, they have been in a certain standard of living in the past ten years and have become completely dependent on this type of money. They have cars now, they have got houses to maintain and suddenly that goes away. Imagine the impact on the family; already there is a lot of intentions around money issues in every family, doesn't matter if its Afghan or American but when income starts to shrink that always has an impact."