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It's not just Fish on the Auction Tab...
Saida, Lebanon
By Kaylyn Hlavaty
08 Oct 2013

There is a new commercial port in construction in Saida, Lebanon. This port has affected the profits of local fishermen and the union they are in has different opinions of how to handle the situation, especially when it comes to the financial distribution of funds.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors
By Michael Biach
29 Sep 2013

Almost two decades after the war in Bosnia & Herzegovina ended with the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement the country remains threatened by more than 120.000 landmines, a dark legacy of the war, buried in the ground along former frontlines. As urban areas are meanwhile largely demined people living in the remote landside of Bosnia are permanently threatened by the silent hazard near their homes.

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Niger, a Dark Paradise of Uranium
Niamey, Niger
By Transterra Editor
05 Sep 2013

An unsteady bike headlight and a kid eager to escape from his mother’s arms can easily turn into a tragedy. Because when night shows up, only the headlights of the cars furtively light up the faces of Niamey’s inhabitants.

In the rural areas of Niger, where more than 83 percent of Nigeriens live and less than 2 percent of the inhabitants have access to electricity, people have to sleep at 8 p.m. because, by then, it is already dark and there is no electricity. With a blistering 48 degrees in summer and barely any electricity to turn on a fan, the people of Niger live in “darkness, warmth and insecurity,” says activist of Right of Energy organisation.

The national rate of access to electricity in Niger does not exceed 10 percent, while France lights up almost one third of its light bulbs from Uranium it extracted from Niger. Niger’s contract with Areva, which France owns 80 percent of, is expected to be renewed by the end of 2013 and currently, negotiations are underway.
The government is looking for Niger's best interest, rather than France's, as the Nigerien Minister of Mines says, “natural resources must serve our country’s interests.” This is particularly important, since the country has been ranked as the least developed country when it came to UNDP’s index of human development.

It was announced that a new mine pit will soon be open and, starting from 2015, 5000 tons of uranium will be extracted from it each year. This mine, however, was attributed to Areva in 2009, and so far, all subcontractors in the project have been foreign. Nevertheless, it has been stated that this mine will contribute to the development of Niger in the fields of health, eduction, transportation, water and access to energy. Civil society activists are skeptic of this project and have been taking measures such as organizing debates and forums and surveying the behavior of new investors, in order to ensure that they receive what they have been promised.

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Kazakh Dissident's Family Deportation...
Almaty, Astana
01 Aug 2013

Alma Shalabayeva, wife of controversial Kazakh oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov, and her six-year-old daughter were rapidly deported back to Kazakhstan on May 31 after a night raid on their villa in Rome, Italy, despite the fact that they both had valid visas to stay in the European Union. The government of Kazakhstan accused her of possessing unlawfully obtained passports. Additionally, the unusually fast 72-hour deportation caused a furor of criticism against Italian authorities, as the fact that Shalabayeva could face persecution and even torture upon her return to the country from which she and her husband fled. Ablyazov is a former minister turned dissident in Kazakhstan who started an opposition movement in the country in 2001. He later headed up BTA Bank and continued to fund opposition groups. The bank was nationalized in 2009 and Ablyazov was accused of embezzling billions of dollars. He fled the country, fearing for his life, and obtained political asylum in Britain in 2011. But after he was tipped off by UK police that his life was in danger again, he went into hiding. Some critics say that the treatment of his wife and daughter by Italy were a favor to the oil-rich country of Kazakhstan.

Alma is now in Almaty, after her arrest in Italy and deportation. She does not leave her house and is protected by few relatives and controlled by the Kazakh security services. She defends her husband and longs to leave the country and go back to Europe. Mukthar Ablyazov has been arrested in France, and is waiting the decision of the French authorities. This reportage from the heart of Central Asia makes an in-depth enquiry of the true story of the dissident-banker, seen from the eyes of his wife and of the Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs.

To view photos, click here:

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Protesters block main highway linking...
São José dos Campos & São Paulo, Brazil
By Flavio Forner
29 Jun 2013

Approximately 500 protesters blocked the Dutra Highway, the main route between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's two largest cities, in another demonstration linked to the wave of protests sweeping the South American giant.

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Life Along The Railway
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
20 Jun 2013

Space is scarce in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s vibrant capital. So is money. An estimated number of more than 14 million people live in Dhaka, making it one of the world’s most populated cities. Poor neighborhoods, by western definitions called slums, are continuously growing. The space next to railway tracks has long been occupied by numerous makeshift homes.

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Syrian oil farmers
Ras al Ain, Syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
17 Jun 2013

Article about homemade oil refining by farmers in Syria. It goes with the photos you can find under this link:

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Cairo, Egypt
By Leyland Cecco
14 Jun 2013

The Oromo who fled persecution in Ethiopia now face a new threat to their safety in Egypt

To view photos, click here:

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The Landless People of Noakhali - Art...
Noakhali, Bangladesh
By Jeff Mcallister
06 Jun 2013

Land is an increasingly rare resource in Bangladesh. Over sixty percent of the country’s population of 150 million depend on agriculture to make its living, yet the majority of Bangladesh’s cultivatable land belongs to 10 percent of the people.
Each year hundreds are displaced by climate change and make their way to Noakhali District in pursuit of government promised khasland. Yet in a system rife with corruption, very little of this land ever materializes. Left landless, the poor farmers of Noakhali are forced to band together and fend for themselves.

To view photos, click here:

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Syria's Christians Caught Between Mil...
Ras al-Ayn, Syria
By Annabell Van den Berghe
04 Jun 2013

In Serekaniya, or Ras al-Ayn (the Arabic name for the same city, dominated by a Kurdish population) Christians fear for their future.

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Nairobi, Kenya
By marukophoto
14 May 2013

A protest in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi over the wage increase proposed by the Members of the National Assembly, from US$6,333 to US$10,119. The National Assembly has 349 MPs, while the Senate has 67 members, totaling 416, in addition to two speakers and two clerks for the two tier chambers.

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Protests in Malaysia against alleged ...
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
By FirstName LastName
09 May 2013

Malaysian protestors defy police ban to rally against election results

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Syrian farmer becomes amateur oil pro...
Ras al-Ayn, Syria
By Annabell Van den Berghe
01 May 2013

The Syrian crisis brings despair at all walks of life. Potato Farmers are technically unemployed, since no refined oil is to be found to run their machines. Because they can no longer support their family they see themselves forced to start refining themselves. A dangerous task.

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Little Jerusalem in Italy
Pitigliano, Italy
By Nili Bassan
17 Apr 2013

On the last strip of the Tuscan Region, overlooking Lazio, is Etruscan land. This is charming Maremma, standing out of Pitigliano cliff. An ancient village with perched houses, Pitiglian is also known as “little Jerusalem”. The resemblance with the Holy City is noticeable, as it can be seen observed arriving from the sea.

The narrow and steep alleys leading to the ancient Jewish quarter are another mark of the connection between Pitigliano and Jerusalem. In the 800s the ghetto of Pitigliano was inhabited by hundreds of Jews, and for this reason the village took the name of “Small Jerusalem”. Jewish migration towards Maremma started four centuries ago, and the Synagogue was built in 1598. It collapsed due to a landslide in the 60's, but was was re-built by the Municipality in 1995. Today the Synagogue, the Kasher butchery, the Milkvè bath, the bakery of the “Azzime” and the winery, are all part of a touristic itinerary. There is also a Museum managed by the "Small Jerusalem" association,“ that gives 20% of its revenue to the Municipality.

Every day tourists visit the Jewish complex to buy kosher products in the souvenir shops of the hamlet. The kosher wine is produced in the local wine factory, and is on sale in every shop of Pitigliano. The shops also sell kosher olive oil, azzimo bread and traditional Jewish “sfratto”cake.

The cake is made in the shape of a cane, and was prepared in the past to remember the 17th century tradition of knocking on doors intimating the edict of the Grand Duke Cosimo II, and announcing to Hebrew people that they were obliged to leave their homes and move to the ghetto of Pitigliano. It is now considered a Christmas cake. During the summer, “bollo” cakes of the Sephardic tradition are prepared, made with lemon and anise.

Pitigliano is the historic location of the cultural meeting between the Christian and Jewish populations. This kinship was sealed in 1799 when the population of Pitigliano embraced pitchforks and compelled the soldiers to flee instead of pillaging the ghetto. Years later during the Holocaust, Pitigliano again defended its Jewish dwellers.

Cava and Servi are common names of the Jewish families that were restrained in the Roccatederighi's camp, sent to Fossoli camp, and from there shipped to Auschwitz. Other Jewish families living in Pitigliano hid themselves in the countryside avoiding the endless Nazi roundups, thanks to the solidarity network of dwellers and farmers living nearby. In 2002, the Dainelli, Perugini, Bisogno, Simonelli and Sonno families were awarded with the honor of “right” amongst nations bestowed by the Institute Yad Vashem of Jerusalem.

“A human chain of solidarity preserved us. I remember the people who brought us foods. We lived in a cave me, my father, my mother, and mine of two sisters. To let us know that we were in peril we had a special sign agreed before. The farmer riding a black horse was the alarm sign”.

These are the words of Elena Servi, founder and chief executive officer of the Small Jerusalem association. She is 83 years old, and lived through Nazi occupation. She is cheerful, hearty, with a very clear memories of those youthful days when Fascists and Nazis constrained her to a bitter life.

Jewish inhabitants of the town have unique and extraordinary testimonials. Another is the story of Carlo Frischumann, a dentist in Pitigliano's during the war. A Jew from Eastern Europe, he arrived in Italy with his real identity concealed under the name of Carlo Schemmari. He never disclosed his real Jewish origin to the people of Pitigliano. He was killed by the American bombing on the 7th of June 1944 that hit the crowded old town and destroyed part of it. The tradition tells that he was killed in his medical study while he was curing a German soldier.

Another tradition tells that his assistant was wrongly brought his medicine bag to the office of Carlo Schemmari in Pitigliano and so the doctor was obliged to go to his office to recollect his bag. When the war was over, the population of Pitigliano was left astonished when the girlfriend of Carlo Frischumann, alias Carlo Schemmari asked to exhume the body of Carlo from the Christian cemetery and then she revealed this real identity.

Elena Servi is at the core of the Jewish community of Pitigliano, nowadays made up only by three people.

"My son Enrico is 50 years old and he is the latest Jewish people born in Pitigliano. There is no Rabbi in Pitigliano and the community goes to the Synagogue of Livorno, managed by the Rabbi Yair Didi. "

Elena was in Israel during the first Gulf war. She lived in the Holy Land from 1986 until 1995. She decided to live in a typical Israelis allocation. She lived in the kibbuts named to the memory of Sereni. In the kibbutz Elena was also in charge of managing the laundry service, amongst other duties. From that experience of life she affirms: “frankly if the kibbutz was not real, it should be surely invented”.

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The Jewish Community in Livorno Article
Livorno, Italy
By Nili Bassan
16 Apr 2013

Livorno is considered the most modern of all the towns of the Tuscany region. It has the biggest port of the region and it is the most populated coastal town. The emblem of the town is the monument of the four “mori” - pirates - a famous sculpture that represents dark-skinned pirates constricted by chains at
the feet of the Grand Duke Ferdinando I. The artwork has been realized during the time in which the town was enhanced itself as cosmopolitan town, through establishment of rules that allows the town to welcome with open arms Jewish people banished from Spain and Portugal. The story of Jewish people living in Livorno starts since that moment. Historical tradition of Livorno and Jewish culture are merged permanently until nowadays and Livorno is defined as the town of Judaism. It was held by Jew family the memorable bookshop and the publishing house named Belforte. Typical dishes the “roschette”,
caucciucco(fish stew) and the Livorno-style mullet are of the Sephardic tradition.

Like the typical words as “sciagattato” – ruined, and “gadollo” - fat or “gavinoso” – funny, which are picked up from the Bagitto and Hebrew dialect and still in use today . Jew was the Mayor of the prefascist town of Livorno, the Socialist Umberto Mondolfi. The list is including religious citizens like Rabbis Elia Benamozegh – was the Rabbi of Livorno for 50 years, Rabbi Sabato Morais and Alfredo Toaff, famous people like the philanthropist Moses Montefiore, sages and intellectuals like Attias, D'Ancona and Enriques, famous painters like Tivoli, Corcos and of course Amedeo Modigliani. These are only few
famous names of the entire Jewish community of Livorno. Livorno is housing of an old Sephardic Synagogue, considered one of the biggest and beautiful Synagogue around the world, it was built in 1591 but seriously damaged by the American bombing in 1945, then it became the goal of several raids during
the last time of second WW, and this led to a complete destruction of the Synagogue itself. The works for the new Synagogue committed to the architect Mr. Angelo di Castro started at the beginning of the sixties, a building of reinforced concrete inspired by the tabernacle (sanctuary tent) that accompanied the Jewish along the desert during the exodus- the new Synagogue has a modern style that it is not well accepted among the Jewish community of Livorno. Whatever, the young Rav Yair Didi religious leader of the community and well known and respected personality in the city is suggesting to not look the outside but the inside of the Synagogue. next to the synagogue is the center or the house of the Jewish community, there is the archive of the community,400 years of documents written in Portuguese, Italian or Hebrew. But the real oral memory is Gabriele Bedarida. He is keeping memories of what was the Jewish Livorno in the past. In the 1938, during the fascism period, before that the King enacted racial laws more than 1500 Jewish people lived in Livorno. More than 120 Jewish people of Livorno were wiped out in the Nazi concentration camps. Many of the people in the Jewish community of Livorno were rescued in the Nazi search, fleeing to the bush, hiding kids in convents, in religious colleges, or finding shelter by antiNazi friends. By the end of the WW II the Jewish community of Livorno had less than 1000 people.

Today there are around 600 Jewish people registered as Jewish community of Livorno, that leads, the community of Livorno to be considered one of the most important Jewish community in Italy after the one in Rome. But the Jewish community of Livorno is an old and aged community with no turnover. The last migration of Sephardic Jews in Livorno is dated to 1967 when due to the six days war many Jews abandoned Arab countries and part arrived in Livorno. Mainly people from the Bengasi community in Libya decided for moving to Livorno. Today the majority of the Jewish community of Livorno is made up by older people with only few young that rarely participate to the life of the community. There are around 70 Jewish people in Livorno that actively attend Jewish liturgies such as Shabbat and even more than 400 persons during Pesach or Yom Kippur. In the last three years 6 young Jews decided to leave Italy to
flee to Israel for aliyah. In the city center and in the market many shops are still run by Jew families: like the Disegni, Zarrugh, Doha, Modigliani, Bueno and Lombardo are some of the common names. On the other hand the Jewish school closed during the fascism has never been reopened and the same destiny
has occurred to the Jewish hospital and after a while to the old cemetery. There is no any Israeli restaurant in Livorno , the last running was closed four years ago. There is a bakery that works under Jewish rules producing bread without milk or animal fat/lard. There is also a kosher batcher that supplies
kosher meet to members of the Jewish community of Livorno. There is a Jewish museum, located in Villa Marini belonged to Marini family until 1867,was used as a synagogue until the new synagogue was open and on 1992 opened as a museum. the small collection is including a Hechal(temple) of the XVI
century,shofar,tallit on the wall are old marriage agreements.

There is an old cemetery closed and in a state of completely decay. The new cemetery is in use and located in the north of the city and it is near the general cemetery. In the new cemetery are the grave of Modeliani family and two memory boards one perpetuates the Jewish people that died during First World War and the other perpetuates the victims of the holocaust.

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The Making of the Oscar Statuette
Chicago, Illinois, USA
By John Giannini
15 Jan 2013

Scott Siegel, President of R. S. Owens Co. in Chicago IL, USA describes the process his company use to produce the Oscar statuettes for the Motion Picture Academy.

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Malala- A voice for freedom
Mingora, Swat, Pakistan
By Rohit Gandhi
26 Oct 2012

I met Malala first when she was 11 years old. The Taliban had just been flushed out and she wanted to speak out. One of the very few there who spoke in such good English. We waited for hours before we could meet her. There was still risk of being attacked in Swat as remnants of the Taliban were still floating around.

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Liberia, NEC Destroys 2011 Elections
Monrovia, Liberia
By Anthony Daniels
21 Aug 2012

The National Elections Commission (NEC) will today August 21, 2012, commence the destruction of Ballot papers for the 2011 National Referendum and the 2011 presidential and Legislative Elections at all NEC's magisterial offices across Liberia.

The destruction of the ballot papers and other election related material is in keeping with Chapter 4 Section 4.16 of the 1986 New Election Law of Liberia.

The Acting Chairman of the NEC, Cllr. Elizabeth J. Nelson, will head a team of members of the Board of Commissioners and a team of NEC Staff to NEC Magisterial Office in Brewerville where an occasion marking the symbolic destruction of the electronics materials will be held.

Similarly, destruction of elections materials will be held simultaneously across the country at all NEC magisterial offices.

Meanwhile, the Commission is inviting all registered political parties, government officials, civil society organizations, international and local partners, the media and the public to attend the occasion which begin at 10:a.m., August 21, 2012.

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Do We Have Classes?
Beirut, Lebanon
By Mohamad Kleit
10 Aug 2012

Stereotypes are major issues in defining Lebanese colleges. Some are defined as low, middle, or high standard classes, according to statistics of tuitions and personal income level. Sociology takes its part in defining this status quo and the ways to avoid it. Students, as well, share their thoughts on how they perceive universities including theirs.

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Early Childhood Education In Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya
By ric francis
20 Jul 2012

This story is about a private pre-school in Nairobi, Kenya. It documents the spirit of the children and the challenges they and their teachers face.

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By mianeh
03 Aug 2011

While the United States looks on at unrest in Egypt and other Middle Eastern states with concern, the mood among officials in Tehran is one of undisguised satisfaction. For Iran, whatever kind of change emerges from the protest has to be better than the status quo.

As protests mount in Egypt, Tunisians build a new government, and the king of Jordan sacks his cabinet after demonstrations, Iranian official statements have backed the crowds seeking change, not their leaders.

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Origin Rwanda Article
By jonathankalan
06 Jun 2011

Dozens of coffee buyers from around the world visit Musasa Coffee Cooperative in Rwanda, hoping to source the next best brew. Jonathan Kalan, Rwanda.

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Middle East
By sherifaq
11 Apr 2011

Freedom is the answer!!
"Liberty means responsibility that's why most men dread it" George B. Shaw

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Kandahar, Afghanistan
By The Journalist Connection
27 Oct 2010

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN: Ahmad Shah is a 12-year-old from Panjwayi, a district in Kandahar province. I met him on a chilly January afternoon in Kandahar City while I was in front of my office.

Ahmad approached me and asked whether he could clean my shoes. He had a sad looking face, an oversized coat, and fingers blackened by shoe polish. While he cleaned my shoes he told me a little bit about his life.

Like most villagers in Southern Afghanistan, Ahmad’s father was a farmer. He used to grow many types of vegetables on his land, including onions, tomatoes, and spinach.

One night, two years ago, Ahmad woke up to the sound of air strikes and gunfire. He told me: “I heard gunshots and blasting everywhere. I realized my father was outside watering his plants and I started to cry. My mother and my sisters also cried. We were all afraid.”

Later that night, Ahmad discovered that his father had been shot in the fields and was dead. The neighbors buried him in the village graveyard.

Ahmad’s mother had already lost several relatives in an air strike and she thought that if she remained in the village any longer she would lose her children too, so she decided to move to Kandahar City with her son and her four daughters.

They set up a patched-up tent in Kandahar’s District 7 and tried to begin a new life. Ahmad became a shoe shiner. He said: “I don’t have brothers. I’m the only man in the family so I must work to support my mother and my four sisters.” The family’s finances had become Ahmad’s responsibility.

Ahmad’s mother also tried to find a job, but she is illiterate, and has no real working experience, given that she has spent her whole life taking care of basic chores within the four walls of the house. Moreover, employment opportunities for women are rare in Southern Afghanistan because many people think it’s shameful for women to work outside of the house. Therefore, apart from washing her neighbors’ dishes and begging for money in the streets, Ahmad’s mother still has not found a regular job.

Ahmad explained his routine in the following words: “I walk around the streets and I clean people’s shoes. I get paid 5 Afghani for each pair of shoes I clean. On a good day I can make 100 Afghani [the equivalent of US$ 2]. But some days I have no luck and I end up going home with 40 or less.” On those days Ahmad and his family cannot afford to buy enough food for everyone.

The rainy season is especially hard. Ahmad said: “When it rains I can’t get any work, and then the rain gets into our tent and the quilts get wet. So we can’t sleep and we’re all wet and hungry. It’s the worst! We have to wait until the sun comes back, and our things dry up, and I can go back to work. Life is tough but I have to take care of my family.”

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Kandahar, Afghanistan
By The Journalist Connection
27 Oct 2010

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN: After my English class, I waited for a friend outside the school. Suddenly a man with a big black beard, a big black turban, and typical countryside clothes approached me and asked for some money.

He scared the hell out of me because I was told by the school’s administration, and by the other teachers, that a group of Taliban had made it into Kandahar city.

Taliban suicide bombers frequently target English-language schools in order to close them, because the students who learn English often start working for the U.S. Army as interpreters.

I looked at the villager and told him that he was a strong man and that he should work to earn his money–not beg in the streets.

He looked into my eyes and smiled. “You’re right,” he said. “But look here.” He lifted up his shirt and I saw a wide and bloody wound. I really could not believe how many stitches were on his stomach. It was awful.

The man told me he was from Helmand province. He said NATO airplanes had bombed his house and that he was the only person who survived from his entire family. Badly injured, he wound up in Mirwais Hospital, in Kandahar. When he was discharged he went to live in a hut in the outskirts of the city.

I felt sorry for the man, so I told him that someone I know could help him find a job as a watchman in a government building. He answered: “I would rather die than work for the government.” Then he walked away.

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Paseo Triunfo de la República, CIUDAD JUÁREZ, MEXICO
By The Journalist Connection
27 Oct 2010

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, MEXICO: On January 21, 2008, I decided to skip my last evening class at university to go celebrate with my boyfriend our fifth month of engagement.

We bought food and drinks, and thought it would be nice to go have a romantic dinner. It was about 9:00 PM and we decided to drive to a park in two separate cars.

Suddenly, while we were on Paseo Triunfo de la República, I saw a jeep coming from the opposite direction, and it looked like it was on fire. For a moment I thought perhaps it was firecrackers. Then I realized someone was shooting at the jeep. The driver swerved violently and passed in between my boyfriend’s car and mine.

I immediately braked to avoid crashing into the jeep, but the car behind me bumped into me. I thought about getting out to check the damage to my car, but another jeep full of armed men drove by shooting at the first one. I made a U-turn and fled the scene. I passed two red lights and didn’t stop till I was far away.

In the end, I got myself to a fast food restaurant and called my boyfriend, asking him to come get me. He came, even though he had to pass the intersection again where the gangsters were shooting. When he arrived I hugged him and saw that his car had several bullet holes in it.

Later I found out that the driver of the jeep had been killed in the shooting, and that another passenger had been injured and was being treated in El Paso, Texas.

It was five months before I passed Paseo Triunfo de la República again, and when I finally did have the courage, I realized that the restaurant where I had sought refuge was only two and a half blocks away from the scene of the shootout.

I felt frazzled. An experience that lasted only a few minutes had left a deep mark on me. That night I realized for the first time that Ciudad Juárez had really become a violent and dangerous city. I also found out that my boyfriend would do anything for me, even risk his life.