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Druze Reincarnation-12
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
31 Jan 2018

Traditional Mashrabiya window coverings at the Druze Council in Beirut, home to its clerical authority. Many agree, that the firm belief in reincarnation - which also changed the opinions of sceptics such as Nibal himself - allowed them to fight without the fear of death, and gave closure to families after sudden loss of close ones.

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Druze Reincarnation-15
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
25 Jan 2018

An elderly Druze man sells newspapers in Aley, Mount Lebanon. According to Gerald Russell, who wrote about the Druze, “Going into battle, the Druze would shout: ‘Who wants to sleep in the mother's womb tonight?’”

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Druze Reincarnation-14
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
25 Jan 2018

Bridge on Beirut-Damascus highway. After a death of a Druze, the saying in the community goes - “May the person be reborn to good parents.”

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Druze Reincarnation-8
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
25 Jan 2018

Bridge on Beirut-Damascus railway, shrouded in the passing clouds. Those children who remember violent deaths in previous lives, usually involve sudden accidents, car crashes and most recently, the war.

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Druze Reincarnation-5
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
25 Jan 2018

Bridge connecting Mount Lebanon with the road to Beeka Valley, yet also forming the north-south dividing line between Druze and Christian strongholds, who fought a brief, but bitter civil war in 1860, and again in the late 20th century. Regardless, both areas retain a mix of religions today.

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Druze Reincarnation-4
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
25 Jan 2018

Clouds over Chouf region, on Mount Lebanon, drifting over cedar trees, the symbol of Lebanon. Chouf was the home to Fakhr-Al-Din, the Druze leader in the early 17th century, who managed to carve out a kingdom in the Ottoman empire stretching as far as Palmyra in present-day Syria.

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Druze Reincarnation-11
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
04 Nov 2017

The Druze have continued tracing their multiple lives across Mount Lebanon, which helped the community become fearful fighters against their enemies. “In this life, I am a supporter of the same political party, same as my parents. Throughout my youth, I wanted to fight for the same ideals, and used to think about the joining the war in neighbouring Syria, but with age, this fighting spirit has decreased,” said Nibal.

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Druze Reincarnation-13
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
04 Nov 2017

Valleys in Mount Lebanon carry an air of beauty and mystique, akin to philosophical studies of the Druze faith, centered on monotheism and individual interpretation. Shadi Khalek, Nibal’s friend, recalls asking his Christian teacher at school: “If we were all sons of God, same as Jesus; I do not remember the answer.”

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Druze Reincarnation-7
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
04 Nov 2017

Nibal Khalek stands in the backdrop of the Druze religious house in his village, Majdal Baana. Nibal accepted the influence of the past life in his current decisions, which in a way, guided his choices in the present life. “Maybe that's why my soul wanted to be reborn in this body, to finish what it started,” he said.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_1
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_6
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_5
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_13
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_3
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_9
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_7
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_12
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_11
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_15
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_17
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_18
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_16
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_14
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_19
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_10
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_4
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_20
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Koh Phayam_Monk_8
Koh Phayam
By Fabio Polese
25 Oct 2017

Koh Phayam (Thailand), Oct 2017. Monks with traditional tattoos during the Tambun, food offered by the local population.

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Druze Reincarnation-6
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
15 Oct 2017

Faint outline of the Druze religious building hugs the outline of the rock face on Mount Lebanon. The religious buildings, the Khalwa, are nondescript, often displaying no more than the five-point star of the Druze faith.

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Druze Reincarnation-10
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
15 Oct 2017

A home in Majdal Baana village. As entire generations live side-by-side, noticing reincarnations in the early years following a child’s birth became a family tradition.

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Druze Reincarnation-3
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
15 Oct 2017

Many children, including Nibal, guided their families to the houses of their previous-life families. Nibal remembered his death in clashes between the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, with whom the Druze allied during the civil war, and Islamists in the Sunni Muslim stronghold in Tripoli, northern Lebanon.

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Druze Reincarnation-1
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
14 Oct 2017

View towards Beirut from Mount Lebanon, the heart of Druze community in Lebanon. The now-defunct Damascus-Beirut railway operated until the civil war broke out in 1975, and opened these mountains to tourists from across the Levant escaping the summer heat. Prior to that, it made an ideal stronghold for its autonomous community, submerged in religious secrecy.

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Druze Reincarnation-2
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
14 Oct 2017

A Druze man plays the flute in their friends hangout, perched on the hill overlooking the valley below. The tight knit community of friends all subscribe to the ideals of Druze faith - or at least, to the little of it that they do know.

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Druze Reincarnation-9
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
14 Oct 2017

Young people from Nibal’s village dance Dabke - the traditional regional dance. All in their late 20s and 30s, no one has ever been shown the ways of Druze faith, without having undertaken the lifelong path of becoming a religious cleric, the sheikh.

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Dsc03629
Bangkok
By GonzaloAbad
11 Feb 2017

Thai children attentive at ceremony to become monks.
1500 Thai children will be a monk on Makha bucha day. Bangkok, Thailand.
Maka Bucha is a public holiday in several Mekong region countries such as Cambodia and Thailand. The date of this important Buddhist festival depends on Lunar cycle. The holiday may also be known as Magha Puja.
On this day, the full moon of the third lunar month (called Tabodwe); seven months after Buddha began his teachings, over a thousand monks gathered to hear Buddha preach.

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Ancient Armenia architecture in Turkey
Güllüce, Kars Yolu, 36000 Ocaklı/Kars Merkez/Kars,Turkey
By David Grigoryan
26 Oct 2016

Bridge over Arpachay river, this river is a boarder beetwen Tukrey-Armenia, so from left side is Turkey from right Armenia.

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Ancient Armenian architeture in Turkey
Van
By David Grigoryan
26 Oct 2016

Parts from Varagavnk monastery. Often used like a storage