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ISIS Checkpoints in Libyan Port
Derna, Libya
By MENA Desk
15 Mar 2015

Fighters affiliated to ISIS have set up checkpoints on Sunday 15 March both within and at the entrances of the eastern Libyan port of Derna. According to eyewitnesses, each checkpoint is manned by 10-15 fighters equipped with Kalashnikov rifles and hand grenades, as well as 4x4 vehicles with mounted anti-aircraft machine guns. Different groups of fighters take shifts in guarding the checkpoints for specific periods of time. The head of the sentries is equipped with a walkie-talkie. The fighters confiscate any liquor and tobacco they find and destroy it on the spot. People deemed guilty of violating Islamic law are taken to the offices of the Islamic police inside the city. When aircraft are spotted flying overhead the fighters disperse, fearing their checkpoints might be targeted.

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Central Asian Gypsy Circumcision Party
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
09 Mar 2015

Photos and Text by Timur Karpov/Transterra Media

The Mugat are an ancient nomadic people living in Central Asia. Also known as the "Central Asian Gypsies", their lifestyle is similar to European Roma: they live in camps, migrate across countries, and begand recycle garbage for money. Many people in Uzbekistsan, a country with a significant Mugat population, believe the Mugat have magic powers and know secret curses.

Usually the Mugat never let cameramen inside their community and are warey of outsiders. This Mugat ceremony, called "Khatna-tuy", took place in a small city of Parkent, Uzbekistan. Mugat people from camps around Parkent gathered together to celebrate the circumcision of one of the boys from the community. As an Islamic people, circumcision is one of the most important events in the life of a Mugat man. On the day of his ceremony, he receives money and gifts from community, while guests enjoy cheap vodka, bowls of meat, and dancing.

These photos provide an inside look at the rituals of one of the most secretive peoples in one of the world's most secretive states. 

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ISIL Burn Cigarettes and Alcohol in R...
Raqqa
By TTM Contributor 3
02 Apr 2014

April 2, 2014 - Fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and The Levant (ISIL) set hundreds of packs of cigarette and bottles of liquor on fire in a main square of Raqqa in northern Syria after declaring it illegal to smoke or sell cigarettes and alcohol in the city. ISIL is also enforcing other of what it claims are Sharia laws including forcing shops to close at times of prayer and requiring women to be fully covered in a Burqa and Abaya. ISIL has controlled Raqqa for at least six months.

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Libya’s Only Addiction Clinic Struggl...
Benghazi, Libya
By Tripcarbons
15 Apr 2013

Rafah
Addicted to heroin and alcohol
From Benghazi
Has spent two weeks at the clinic

‘Bokha is made out of figs. You mash them all up and the heat the mixure for 15 days in a big barrel. It froths up and eventually the end liquid comes dripping out of a tube from the top. It’s illegal but all kinds of people drink it all over Libya.’

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
29 Jan 2013

29 January 2013. La Rinconada: A nurse tests a prostitute working in a brothel in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru, on the HIV-AIDS. Around 1% of about 1,000 prostitutes in town get positive every year.
La Rinconada was a nice, quiet rural village in Peru’s Los Andes range twenty years ago. However, the economic crisis in the country and the discovery of gold changed the town completely during the nineties. Now, it is a crowded place where thousands of the poor from all over South America frequently immigrate looking for opportunity. The precious metal has transformed La Rinconada into a chaotic village of nearly 50,000 inhabitants (four times more than the past) with a serious lack of social services. The increase in the price of gold (25% last year and 600% in ten years) has pushed many more people to move up there.
Nowadays, the landscape in La Rinconada is full of metallic shelters built without official permits. There is no pavement, sewers and running water. It is full of rubbish and defecation everywhere. It is now a place with serious problems of alcoholism, drugs and crime. The police is nearly absent and illegal prostitution is always present. The use of mercury to separate gold from rock has created a high level of pollution that provokes aggressiveness among the population. This, added to the fact that La Rinconada is about 6,000 meters altitude, causes also breath sicknesses (especially among children) and the local clinic covers just 10% of the needs. Despite some apparent efforts of the local administration, the situation is getting worse year by year.
Photo by Albert González Farran.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 4
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
20 Jan 2013

A "Pallaquera" (a woman who selects stones from the mine dumps) prepares a shot of an alcoholic drink during a break in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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Blast Rocks Restaurant in Southern Le...
Tyre, Lebanon
By Video Cairo Sat
23 Apr 2012

Tyre, Lebanon | April 22, 2012

A bomb exploded in a lift at Nocean Restaurant in the coastal town of Tyre, South Lebanon, shortly after Sunday midnight, April 22, luckily leaving no casualties.

Although reports quote security men as saying the number of injured people were five or seven, the restaurant owner said there were only damages but neither deaths nor injuries.

SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – Sayed Ahmed, Nocean Restaurant owner:
"We were closing the restaurant and there were four workers upstairs in the restaurant. While they were going upstairs, the blast took place. There are no injuries, but there are a lot of material damages. There are no injured people at all."

The restaurant is located on the third floor of a commercial building in Tyre, whose restaurants and liquor stores have been subjected to a series of similar blasts as part of an alcohol prohibition campaign allegedly launched by conservative Shiites, the majority inhabitants of the South.

Many liquor stores have closed due to the prohibition campaign in the country's south although alcohol is widely available in Lebanon, the most liberal Arab country.

Local News Agency: Middle East Bureau / VCS
Shooting Dateline: April 22, 2012
Shooting Location: Tyre, Southern Lebanon
Publishing Time: April 23, 2012
Length: 0:01:32
Video Size: 76.3 MB
Language: Arabic
Column:
Organized by:
Correspondent:
Camera: VCS

SHOTLIST:
1. Various external shots of the damages outside the targeted restaurant amid a crowd of security men
2. Various external shots of Nocean Restaurant next to McDonald's Restaurant
3. Various shots of security men at the bombing scene
4. SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – Sayed Ahmed, Nocean Restaurant owner:
"We were closing the restaurant and there were four workers upstairs in the restaurant. While they were going upstairs, the blast took place. There are no injuries, but there are a lot of material damages. There are no injured people at all." 5. Various shots of damages scattered around the place

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Life in Malawi 11
Zingwangwa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
26 Nov 2011

"Bottle Store" is the local name for a bar. Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 01
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

While dancing, Mugat wedding attendees put money in each other's headdresses. The money is meant to symbolize wealth. The tradition is an adaptation of a local Uzbek custom of throwing money at the dancers as a gift and allowing the children to collect the money. However, the Mugat are cautious of thieves and prefer to put the money directly into another person's headdress.

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 02
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

Guests also brings presents to the boy who is being circumcised. The gifts can be clothes, toys or just money.

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 03
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

The 9 year old boy who will be circumcised. The age of circumcision varies, but is usually performed before the boy hits puberty. The primary determining factor is the family's ability to gather money for the ceremony. Mugat tradition forbids photographing of the actual circumcision.

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 04
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

Cars parked in front of the place of ceremony. Mugat are known for driving old Soviet cars, like those pictured here.

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 05
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

However, the poverty of Mugat society means that most cannot afford cars and many still use donkeys.

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 07
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

Mugat children, including the boy to be circumcised stand in front of a Soviet era monument to fallen soldiers.

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 06
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

Relatives of the boy to be circumcized arriving at the ceremony

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 07
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

The boy's parents have to arrange the help of all of their relatives and friends in order to help feed the approximately 200 guests.

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 08
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

Photos of dead relatives are placed above a carpet depicting the Kabaa in Mecca. This is done as a sign of respect to the dead relatives.

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 09
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

Twin sisters. Their parents rented dresses for them for the ceremony.

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 11
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

Mugat love to decorate their houses with cheap Chinese landscape pictures.

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 12
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

Chickens and watermelons are very cheap and a common staple of any meal in Uzbekistan

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 14
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

According to tradition, every family at the ceremony will receive a dish full of fresh meat and a bottle of vodka. Despite the fact that the Mugat are Muslims, alcohol, and especially vodka is an accepted legacy of heavy Russian influence in the region.

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 15
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

Fresh meat and vodka are very desirable products for Mugat, symbolizing prosperity. Guests will take this meat home.

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 17
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

Like Roma gypsies, gold teeth are common fashion for the Mugat. The gun pictured in this photo is a toy gun intended as a gift for the boy being circumcised. Guns are strictly forbidden in Uzbekistan.

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Mugat Circumcision Ceremony 18
Parkent, Uzbekistan
By TTM Contributor 100
12 Sep 2011

Teenage Mugat girls enjoy their time at the ceremony. Most ethnologists believe the Mugat have Indian origins, causing many to draw parallels between the Mugat and the Roma gypsies of Europe. The comparison is not based solely on ethnicity, but also on lifestyle. The Mugat, like the Roma Gypsies, live on the fringes of society and have strong and insular communities.

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X Addicts
Oxford, UK
By Kirk Ellingham
01 Aug 2010

The Ley Community is a drug rehabilitation centre in Yarnton, Oxfordshire.
They help men and women build new lives after addiction to drugs and alcohol.

I grew up in and around the south London area. At the age of 16 I started smoking crack cocaine and getting more into crime. I was hanging around with people a lot older than me, in big groups fighting a lot and committing a lot of crime, getting into a lot of trouble. Back then it was all about who was the maddest and who was the baddest.

I grew up around a lot of drugs and violence and back then I thought that was what it was all about, being the big hard man. This led me to spend a lot of my life in prison from the age of 16. When I was out there involved in all the madness I didn't care about anyone or anything, I was a mess. Through all this my partner, who I met when I was 16, stuck by me. I was being very violent, drinking too much all the time.

When I was 20 my son was born and I was in prison at the time and that hurt me but it was down to my own stupidity. I came out and tried to stay off drugs but I couldn't do it and in the end my partner left me and took my son and I went off and ended up in prison on a robbery charge looking at a few years locked up again. I'd just had enough of the lifestyle, the drugs and spending all my life locked up. I spoke to a drugs worker in the prison and they said what about a rehab. I thought I would give it a go. I went to court and the judge sent me here.

Coming to the Ley was strange after spending so much time in prison and putting on the hard man act all that time. Everyone here was so nice to me, kind, caring and helpful. I've been here a while and I'm getting used to things and learning a lot about myself, the real me. When you look at the people at the end of the programme you see the benefits and if you put in the work you will get there. I'm rebuilding my relationship with my partner of seven years who has never used drugs and my son who is three years old now.

Now I'm looking forward to the future and being a good father and having a good life, a clean life. I know here I will learn what I need to live that life, I'm done with my old life, I now see it was nothing but crap but I now know my future will be good. My family and people that know me and even I can see a change in me and it's a good change. I would say to anyone that really wants to sort their life out that this is the place.

At times it is not easy but it’s what we need. My future is now about getting a job and a nice little place to live, once I have done this programme, and being a proper family with my partner and my son and living a drug and crime free life. Just being happy and grateful for the things I've got and being a good father and to make sure my son doesn't go down the road I did. I grew up without my father but I'm now getting my life back and my son will grow up with his father there for him and I'm really happy I've got this chance to get my life together.

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Sample media
Oaxaca: Mezcal Country
New York
By Ross McDonnell
03 Oct 2007

Documenting Oaxaca's Mezcal production.

A bottle of mezcal infused with scorpions in Tlacolula de Matamoros, Oaxaca.

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Sample media
Oaxaca: Mezcal Country
New York
By Ross McDonnell
03 Oct 2007

Documenting Oaxaca's Mezcal production.

A bottle of Real Minero made with Tripón agave, a very rare agave often found in the Santa Caterina de las Minas region.

Real Minero

The palenque of Real Minero, a small production brand specializing in mezcal distilled in clay pots giving a unique flavor. It is located in the tiny pueblo of Santa Caterina de las Minas in Oaxaca