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Armenians in Baku Games 09
Baku, Azerbaijan
By lordcob
13 Apr 2015

Greco-Roman wrestler Arsen Julfalakyan is served lunch during a training camp in Yerevan.In addition to sports, Julfalakyan is also completing a PhD in International Relations and speaks four languages, including Turkish. He is boycotting the European Games in protest at Azerbaijan'€™s human rights record. In addition, he has bad memories of his previous visit to Baku in 2007 where security was too overbearing, and the audience hostile.

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Armenians in Baku Games 04
Yerevan; Armenia
By lordcob
10 Apr 2015

Armenian shooters train at a range in Yerevan underneath a poster of Nagorno-Karabakh surrounded by photos of war veterans. The region is currently a de-facto independent state, not recognised by any countries in the world and supported by Armenia. The territory is considered by the international community as part of Azerbaijan.

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Armenians in Baku Games 01
Yerevan, Armenia
By lordcob
03 Apr 2015

Albert Azaryan, 86, observes one of his pupils at his eponymous gym in Yerevan, Armenia. Azaryan is a sporting legend of the Soviet era, in a time where it was harder for smaller republics of the Union to shine. Thanks to the strength he gained working as a blacksmith in Kirovabad (currently Ganja, Azerbaijan), he was the first gymnast to win two consecutive medals for rings. The incredible contortion of his signature ‘Azaryan cross’ move has never been copied, though many try.

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Queen of Controversy: Miss Lebanon 2014
Koura
By Pamela Nabhan
28 Dec 2014

Photo gallery of Sally Greige, Miss Lebanon 2014, who was at the center of an international controversy after allegedly being 'photo-bombed' by Miss Israel at the Miss Universe beuaty pageant in Miami. Lebanon and Israel are technically in a state of war and Lebanese citizens are banned from having contact with Israelis. 

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Skiing Afghanistan
Bamiyan
By Christina Feldt
23 Jun 2014

The Bamiyan Valley is one of the most beautiful places Afghanistan has to offer but it is best known for the destruction of the ancient Buddha statues by the Taliban in 2001. Before skiing arrived to Bamiyan, winter was a desolate time of unemployment. Now, skiing has attracted visitors and is one sign of repose.

For most Afghans, skiing is a very alien concept and there is a severe lack of gear and equipment for all new ski enthusiasts. Many villagers make their own poles and skis out of wood with metal sheeting shaped and nailed to the skis. The Bamiyan ski club and the Aga Khan Foundation are determined to attract more people and spectators to the sport and enable more and more locals to enroll in this new unlikely activity. To promote skiing and tourism in the region, the Bamiyan Ski Club organizes the Afghan Ski Challenge every year in March. The event gathers skiing enthusiasts from Afghanistan and Switzerland.

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SOFEX Special Forces Competition
amman
By giulianocamarda
04 May 2014

The sixth edition of the Annual Warrior Competition (AWC) was held in Amman, Jordan from April 30 to May 5. 37 teams of special forces from 19 countries competed against each other in a series of extreme combat-oriented events. The competition was held at the KASOTC (King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center ). The 25 square kilometers military training center, which cost 200 millions dollars USD, is one of the best reality-based training in the world. The center offers all types of facilities, both for military training, and for hospitality and leisure, and has been designed to offer training courses for special forces, anti-terrorist units and law enforcement agencies around the world. The sixth edition of the Annual Warrior Competition was organized by the Anglo-American company MissionX (which specializes in events for extreme military). Special forces teams from Palestine, Lebanon, the United States, Canada, Netherlands, Slovakia, Russia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan took part in the event. The China Snow Leopard Unit of the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force won for the second time in a row. The members of the Snow Leopard team were selected from a group of 65.000 qualified cops and trained for 6 months specifically for this event.

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Body Builders from the Dandora Dumpsite
nairobi
By Huxta
18 Mar 2014

Micky Ragos Sanya, the former Mr Kenya Bodybuilding champion in the 1970s and 80s, works with youth at this community gym across from Dandora dumpsite. The son of a locomotive driver, Micky grew up in Makongeni, a part of Kibera slum built for rail workers. While still in school, Micky began training in 1963 with bricks and paint cans. Mr. Jeera, then owner of Universal Gym, invited him to train there and offered to sponsor him. Micky won the Mr Nairobi competition in 1966. He continued to train and compete for the titles of Mr Nairobi and Mr Kenya. He won the Mr Kenya championship for the first time in 1972, at age 25, and was undefeated for 10 years. During this time he worked as a bouncer at Hallian's club in downtown Nairobi, continued training, and eventually tried out for Mr Universe in 1989, coming in 7th place. "These guys were huge. They were on steroids. I knew I wouldn't win Mr Universe without taking drugs, and I never wanted to do that. I'd rather stay as Mr Kenya and have young kids follow my example." He retired from competition in 1993, but continues to work with youth at his gym, Ragos Gym, in Dandora, across from the dumpsite. The dump spans 30 acres of land near Nairobi and at least 800 tons of waste is deposited there each day; today the dump presses up against the road. The waste has polluted the air, water and soil in the surrounding communities. Many residents survive by picking through the trash to find plastic for recycling, or anything that can be eaten, reused or sold. Residents in the area have higher concentrations of lead in their blood, and absorb other toxins such as PCBs and dioxin. "Every five years at election time, the politicians promise to build a recycling plant to make you vote for them, then forget about it," Micky said. Within this context, Micky Ragos Sanya supports youth who scavenge in the dump by allowing them to train for free at his gym. Physical fitness in itself is crucial for wellness of the whole mind and body. At Ragos Gym, young Kenyans can train with Micky and other veteran bodybuilders. "I encourage them to come and do sports and stay off drugs," he explained.

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Mr.Handsome 11
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

Contestants are presenting themselves for the jury and spectators at Rastriya Nach Ghar, Kathmandu, Nepal. Several hundred spectators, family, friends and those interested, came to the beauty pageant.

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Mr.Handsome 12
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

Group of contestants leaving the stage while impressing the jury at Rastriya Nach Ghar, Kathmandu, Nepal. The jury consisted of Yuva Raj Chaudhary, Deepa KC and Sneh Rana.

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Mr.Handsome 14
katmandu
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

All the contestants show off their bodies; only wearing jeans, a tie and cowboy hats at Rastriya Nach Ghar.

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Mr.Handsome 10
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

Passionate dancers accompanied by loud and fast music at Rastriya Nach Ghar.

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Mr.Handsome 9
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

A group of dancers entertain at Rastriya Nach Ghar.

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Mr.Handsome 8
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

Fashion show during the break in beauty pageant at Rastriya Nach Ghar.

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Mr.Handsome 7
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

Entertainment during the breaks at the beauty pageant at Rastriya Nach Ghar.

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Mr.Handsome 6
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

The entertainers finishing their set with passion at Rastriya Nach Ghar.

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Mr.Handsome 5
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

At the end of the fashion show all the models display their dresses at Rastriya Nach Ghar.

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Mr. Handsome 18
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

Biswo Raj Adhikari is announced as Mr. Handsome 2013, first in Nepal at Rastriya Nach Ghar, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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Mr.Handsome 3
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

Fashion models walking out at the end of the fashion show at Rastriya Nach Ghar.

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Mr.Handsome 1
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

Pre-competition entertainer dancing for the audience at Rastriya Nach Ghar.

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Mr.Handsome 2
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

Last dancer before Mr. Handsome 2013 was announced at Rastriya Nach Ghar.

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Mr.Handsome 7
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

A varied group of spectators watched the beauty pageant including family and friends of the contestants at Rastriya Nach Ghar.

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Mr.Handsome 4
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

Spectators laughing during entertainment Rastriya Nach Ghar.

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Dancer
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

Pre-competition dancer sings along and dances at Rastriya Nach Ghar.

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Mr. Handsome 17
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

The topless contestant leaves the stage at the theatre at Rastriya Nach Ghar, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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Mr.Handsome 3
kathmandu, nepal
By Ulrik Pedersen
02 Nov 2013

Spectators clapping in excitement at Rastriya Nach Ghar.

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Mr. Handsome Competition 2013
Kathmandu
By Transterra Editor
02 Nov 2013

First gay males' Mr. Handsome competition in Nepal
The contestants are coming out, one at a time, wearing only jeans, neckties and cowboy hats. Some are a little stiff. Clearly nervous. But they have a reason to be nervous: They are participating in the first gay beauty pageant: Mr. Handsome, the first of its kind in Nepal. Some are coming out to families and friends by participating here. As the minutes pass, the participants become more and more confident, like they have been out their whole life and have performed many times. They show their moves, facing hundreds of spectators, parents and well-wishers, and they smile.

Homosexuality has been legal in Nepal since 2008, which is one of the most liberal Asian countries, but contestant tell stories of being abused and thrown in jail. In Nepal, homosexuality is often seen as a product of reincarnation and thereby a punishment for poor choices in a former life and same-sex marriage is seen as an import from Western and European culture.

The Mr. Handsome pageant was hosted by the Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Nepalese NGO focusing on LGBT awareness activities, as a way to fight discrimination across the country on the 2 of November 2013. The NGO asked for contestants through its 40-something offices and was ecstatic when they received 35 entry applications. They had expected none.

Prim Pakrim, 22 is one of the contestants, is from Kathmandu. When asked why he's decided to attend the pageant he said “because I’m gay and I'm happy being gay." His family is aware that he is gay but he thinks a beauty pageant like Mr. Handsome can change people's views on gay people and will hopefully end the discrimination gays are facing in the country.

Anup Shrestha, one of the runner ups, from Chitwan, is extremely happy for his prize. He is coming out as being gay by being a part of this competition. He said: “We are intelligent, and we are happy to be gay," and added “There are hundreds of people like us living in Nepal. It´s a wonderful life and we can´t hide it any more” He is now ready to face his family and all the questions that come along with his coming out.

On the stage the contestants are asked what they would say to a headmaster who, as many is currently doing in Nepal, is refusing gays access education. Biswo Raj Adhikari answered, “Every gay and lesbian should have equal rights to education. They should not be isolated or discriminated for their natural identity because being gay or lesbian is not a disease but a feeling.”

Sunil Babu Pant, BDS president, said: "This programme has encouraged gay men to reveal their hidden talents and will create more awareness about gender and sexuality” and added "Although treatment of gays has improved in recent years, many are still not willing to come out openly.” Sunil hopes the competition will become an annual event.

The country’s new constitution is expected to define marriage as a union between two adults, regardless of gender, and to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Photos and Text by Ulrik Pedersen

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Armenians in Baku Games 10
Sumgait, Azerbaijan
By lordcob
06 Oct 2013

A military shop in Sumgait, Azerbaijan with a poster of Ramil Safarov. Safarov was an Azerbaijani soldier that murdered a sleeping Armenian soldier with an axe during a NATO language training in Budapest in 2004. Safarov was extradited to Azerbaijan in 2012 and immediately lionised as a national hero prompting waves of outrage in Armenia.

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Nepal Bullfight
Taruka, Nuwakot
By U.S. Editor
13 May 2013

A bullfighting competition is organized in Taruka, Nuwakot, 80 km north of the capital Kathmandu. The traditional event is held yearly at Maghe Sankranti.

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Pakistan's General Elections 2013 ( 1...
Lahore, Pakistan
By Murtaza Syed
10 May 2013

A Pakistani woman shows her ink-stained thumb after casting her ballot at a polling station in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, May 11, 2013.

Defying the danger of militant attacks, Pakistanis streamed to the polls Saturday for a historic vote pitting a former cricket star against a two-time prime minister and an unpopular incumbent

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Pakistan's General Elections 2013 ( 9...
Lahore, Pakistan
By Murtaza Syed
10 May 2013

A Pakistani woman shows her ink-stained thumb after casting her ballot at a polling station in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, May 11, 2013.

Defying the danger of militant attacks, Pakistanis streamed to the polls Saturday for a historic vote pitting a former cricket star against a two-time prime minister and an unpopular incumbent.

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Pakistan's General Elections 2013 ( 8...
Lahore, Pakistan
By Murtaza Syed
10 May 2013

A Pakistani man shows his ink-stained thumb after casting his ballot at a polling station in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, May 11, 2013.

Defying the danger of militant attacks, Pakistanis streamed to the polls Saturday for a historic vote pitting a former cricket star against a two-time prime minister and an unpopular incumbent.

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Pakistan's General Elections 2013 ( 7...
Lahore, Pakistan
By Murtaza Syed
10 May 2013

Kalsoom Nawaz, the wife of former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League party chief Nawaz Sharif, walks out of a polling station after casting her ballot in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, May 11, 2013.

Defying the danger of militant attacks, Pakistanis streamed to the polls or a historic vote pitting a former cricket star against a two-time prime minister and an unpopular incumbent.

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Pakistan's General Elections 2013 ( 5...
Lahore, Pakistan
By Murtaza Syed
10 May 2013

A Pakistani man casts his vote at a polling station on May 11, 2013 in the Old City of Lahore, Pakistan.

Pakistan's parliamentary elections were held on May 11, 2013. Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehrik- e- Insaf (PTI) and Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) were campaigning intensely the past several weeks before the election polls opened.

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Pakistan's General Elections 2013 ( 4...
Lahore, Pakistan
By Murtaza Syed
10 May 2013

A supporter of Imran Khan, Pakistan professional cricket player-turned-politician and chairman of political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) holds a cricket bat during a campaign rally in Lahore, Pakistan.

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Pakistan's General Elections 2013 ( 1...
Lahore, Pakistan
By Murtaza Syed
10 May 2013

A Pakistani child holds the picture of Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehrik-e -Insaf (PTI) party.

Pakistan's parliamentary elections are due to be held on May 11, 2013. Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehrik- e- Insaf (PTI) and Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) have been campaigning intensely the past several weeks before the election polls open.

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Election Day in Pakistan ( 17 of 28)
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
By Muhammed Furqan
10 May 2013

A woman gets her thumb inked at a polling station in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Rawalpindi is one the cities that is crucial for the general election campaign. Both rival parties are in intense competition.

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An Ancient Tradition of Lelo (45 of 47)
Shukhuti, Georgia
By Arturas Morozovas
05 May 2013

Local orthodox priest Saba carries a Lelo ball to a church for blessing before the game starts.

A day when the rest of the orthodoxies celebrate Easter every year at home around the dinner table, a small village Shukhuti in western Georgia fights in an ancient game called Lelo. Men from upper and lower parts of the village participate in several hour battle for 16 kg weighing Lelo Burti ball. Whatever part of the village brings the ball to its side, what is marked by two rivers, – wins. Victory means a glory and following Lelo’s main tradition, the winners carried the ball to the cemetery and place it on the last died player grave. (Full article is available).

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An Ancient Tradition of Lelo (4 of 20)
Shukhuti, Georgia
By Arturas Morozovas
05 May 2013

A bus driver stuck on the main Georgian road catches the ball while it is being carried to a church to be blessed.

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An Ancient Tradition of Lelo (3 of 20)
Shukhuti, Georgia
By Arturas Morozovas
05 May 2013

Local orthodox priest carrying the Lelo Burti ball to the village’s church to bless it before the game.