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The Gaza Strip, Palestine: General Fo...
Gaza
By Hind Khoudary
02 Oct 2017

The Gaza Strip is a densely populated and impoverished region inhabited primarily by Palestinian refugees; the majority live in large, overcrowded refugee camps.

Gaza Strip has been under a tight Israeli blockade for more than 11 years now. 2 million Palestinians in the coastal sliver are living in an open air jail. 

The Israeli occupation and blockade have a lot of effects on the economic and socioeconomic conditions in Gaza. 

This collection will gather different footage about Gaza Strip, the sea, people, markets, and neighborhoods. 

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Sudan: Surviving Despite the Conflict
Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
06 Feb 2015

The Nuba Mountains rise from the semi-arid savannah of South Kordofan, one of the largest states of Sudan bordering what is now the Republic of South Sudan. The population is dominated by over 50 distinct ethnic groups of black African origin collectively known as the Nuba.  Settled small holder farmers, the Nuba have lived alongside a number of Arab pastoralist tribes relatively peacefully for generations. In addition to its remarkably rich and engaging culture, Nuba society is characterised by religious tolerance (there being about equal numbers of Muslims and Christians with many still respecting traditional ancestral beliefs), ethnic diversity and expectations of local accountability and good governance not commonly found elsewhere in the country. It is estimated that as many as three million Sudanese are Nuba, many living in the slums of cities in the north.
 
As with other Sudanese living on the peripheries (including the people of Darfur, Blue Nile, Abyei, Red Sea Hills, and the far north), the people of South Kordofan have been marginalised for generations by the policies of successive Khartoum-based Governments. As a result,  they face restricted educational and employment opportunities, lack of land tenure and huge loss of land to outsider mechanised schemes, social discrimination,  lack of political rights,  banning of local languages from school curricula and ever increasing poverty and frustration.  Failure to bring about any changes through political process and alarm at the undemocratic imposition of Sha’ria law (in 1983) eventually resulted in armed resistance, initially alongside the southern Sudanese insurrection led by Dr John Garang.  In 2005, an internationally brokered “peace agreement” led eventually  to the secession of South Sudan but failed to address the marginalisation of Nuba and other peripheral ethnic groups in (northern) Sudan. 
 
In 2011 the region returned to civil-war  and currently the Nuba opposition are fighting as part of an alliance of northern Sudanese opposition groups resisting the continued oppressive policies of Omar al Bashir’s National Congress Party.  As in Darfur and Blue Nile, the efforts of the Khartoum government to stamp out any opposition have been particularly brutal. An area of some 40,000 square kilometres, home to over a million people, has been effectively surrounded by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Government paid militias deprived of any public services (including markets,  transport, power and telecommunications) or access to international or national humanitarian aid. Civilian villages are bombed and shelled daily, hospitals and schools are targeted, hunger is used as a weapon of war, villages are burnt to the ground and captured civilians are routinely tortured, raped and executed. Several thousands of Nuba have died since the war restarted in 2011, over 400,000 have lost their homes and possessions and remain internally displaced with little or no assistance. More than 80,000 are refugees in camps in increasingly insecure border area of South Sudan and this figure is expected to rise significantly.
 
However, despite all these atrocities, the local population continues to demonstrate enormous resilience and a determination to resist the brutal oppression of Bashir’s regime and to help bring about the democratic transformation of Sudan of which they dream. They dig foxholes to reduce the number of deaths from bombs and shells, share food and shelter, and seek refuge in the mountains.  They continue to celebrate their ethnic and cultural diversity and religious tolerance.  And perhaps most remarkably, they continue to show a real readiness for forgiveness. They talk not of revenge but of reconstruction in a united and peaceful Sudan that promotes pluralism, justice, mutual respect and codependence.
 
In a region riddled with conflict, extremism and instability, the people of the Nuba Mountains provide an all too rare alternative narrative. If they can survive this war, perhaps they will also contribute to a longer-term transformation in Sudan that allows genuine African democracy, peaceful coexistence and pluralism to replace conflict and dictatorship.

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 05
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
06 Feb 2015

A man lies on the ground as a government Antonov aircraft bomb Kauda Town. Communities have learnt that lying down increases their chances of surviving the devastating shrapnel-filled barrel bombs that remain as the most frequently dropped ordinance to date. In the past three and a half years (up to April 2015), the Sudan Air Force has dropped over 3,700 bombs on civilian sites in the Nuba Mountains. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 07
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
06 Feb 2015

A displaced woman cries at the news of the death of her son Najamadin, 22 years old, killed by government soldiers while he was taking care of the community’s cattle in Dalami County. His brother Abdulbaghi, who was with him, managed to escape and run back to their makeshift home to tell his mother about the sad news. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 12
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
06 Feb 2015

Friday prayers are underway at one of the many mosques found throughout the Nuba Mountains, where some 40% of the population are Muslims. During the prayer time, people collected money to help a family who needed a surgical operation. Ahmed Kuwa, a devote local Muslim, says: “They (the regime) are bombing our mosques, killing our Imams, using religion to make war between peaceful neighbors; but this is not God’s Islam.” (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 16
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
06 Feb 2015

People run for cover during a bombardment in Kauda Town. On this particular raid, 12 bombs were dropped in less than 5 minutes, destroying three houses and leaving one man injured. Confirmed reports indicate that between 2012 and 2014, 198 civilians were killed and over 440 seriously injured by bombing and shelling. However actual fatalities have been much higher as many more have died from disease and malnutrition. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 17
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
06 Feb 2015

A family comes out from a fox hole after protecting themselves from 12 bombs that were dropped in Kauda town center in just five minutes. Local civil society organizations are seeking help to deal with the increasing cases of psycho-social trauma resulting from the constant terror of attack from bombs, shells and rockets. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 22
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
06 Feb 2015

Yida refugee camp across the international border in Unity State of South Sudan, remains a last resort for many Nuba families. Currently some 66,000 Nuba people are living here as refugees. The camp which itself was bombed by the Sudan Air Force, now faces insecurity challenges from the South Sudan civil war. Due to disagreements over positioning of the camp, neither the UNHCR nor any other international assistance agencies provide any schools to children. Since the camp opened 4 years ago€“, the local Nuba civil society plays an important role in providing education services. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 21
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
03 Feb 2015

During the early morning of February 3, 2015, an artillery shell blasted through the roof of a house in Um Serdiba village. Nine children were sleeping in a foxhole inside the house, three died immediately. Six children, aged between 2 and 11, survived and lay in Mother of Mercy Hospital with more than 50% of their bodies burned. The next day, another girl died at the hospital, and three other children facing serious burns. The head surgeon of the hospital is not sure if they are going to survive. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 19
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
02 Feb 2015

Jackson Teamtrust, 7 years old, was wounded by a bomb dropped by the Sudanese government forces in Ragafi village, Umdorein County on the 1st of February, 2015. Between 2012 and 2014, 36 children have been reported killed and 83 seriously injured by the government bombing of civilian targets in the Nuba Mountains. Sadly, the actual casualties since the start of the war (including 2015) is much higher. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 20
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
02 Feb 2015

An unexploded bomb dropped by the Sudanese government lies in the middle of the field next to a primary health center in South Kordofan. With the Sudanese government also having started to drop cluster bombs on civilian targets, the risks of continuing deaths and injuries from unexploded ordinances will increase. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 18
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
01 Feb 2015

A Sunday service is held at the Sudanese Church of Christ, one of many Christian denominations found in South Kordofan. More than 300 people attended the service, using biscuits and hibiscus flower juice for the communion. The peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians is an important feature of Nuba (and traditionally, Sudanese) society which celebrates ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural diversity. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 09
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
30 Jan 2015

Stir Ahmed, 26, is seen inside the cave where she keeps some of her belongings and use as shelter if she can during frequent bombing raids on Tunguli Village, in Dalami County. "€œThe bombing is terrible. It can come anytime. We feel very alone and€“ the world does not care, the Sudanese people do not care." (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 10
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
30 Jan 2015

Displaced Sana Mahjub, 26, cleans the beans for lunch with the help of her children outside the small cave where they now have to live since their village was destroyed. It is estimated that more than 400,000 people living in similar conditions have been  displaced since the war started nearly 4 years ago as a result of targeted bombing, shelling and land attacks by government forces. Dalami County, South Kordofan, Sudan.

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 11
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
30 Jan 2015

Alnjama Alzahabia cultural group, meaning Gold Stars, poses for a photo in Dalami County with a typical local backdrop. Music, dance and cultural events are integral to Nuba society and continue to play an important role in countering the psycho-social trauma caused by the war. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 08
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
29 Jan 2015

Displaced Mary Musa (left), 26, and Khadmalla Abuzet, 18, cook the evening meal of Baliila (maize, sorghum and beans) next to a rocky mountain near Tunguli village. Families move to such shelters in the evenings as night time bombings and shelling become increasingly frequent. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 04
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
27 Jan 2015

People collect water in Ragafi river bed during the dry season. In many villages, hand water pumps have been destroyed by government forces during land attacks or targeted bombing and shelling on villages. "They (the regime of Omar Bashir) say they are our government, but we want true democracy, not murderers" Awatif Musa, a 48 year old grandmother, says as she waits in line. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 06
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
27 Jan 2015

A group of women seeks shelter inside a foxhole after a bombing raid. Given the frequency of bombing and shelling of civilian targets, communities depend on fox holes and caves in the mountains to reduce casualties. Women have played a key role in promoting the spread of effective self-protection measures. As bombing and shelling intensity increases, they are having to construct ever larger shelters. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 15
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
27 Jan 2015

Pastoralist Korie Hassan, 18, and part of his family are moving to seek better grazing and security ahead of the rest of the family and cattle. Traditionally settled Nuba farmers coexist peacefully with livestock pastoralists (many of whom are Arabs) and they are attempting to counteract the government's tactics of arming local militias and promoting ethnic division and conflict. "€œWe do not want war with Nuba people"€ he says, "€œIt is those of Bashir who are making people to fight." (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 03
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
26 Jan 2015

Students at Tangal Model Primary School in Umdorein County look up in the sky concerned that an Antonov airplane is flying over their heads, but cannot see it yet. The original school in Tangal Village was bombed 3 years ago. Since then they have changed location twice. Now they have moved close to a river where the children feel safer. The classrooms are built with grass that the students and their family provided. There are 150 students in total, from kindergarten to the 8th grade class. The teachers are paid with food given by the families of the students. They have been in this location for the last six months. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 13
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
26 Jan 2015

The Council of a village in Umdorein County prepare for a wider community meeting being convened to discuss further collective measures needed to respond to the many problems provoked by the war. Topics will include the digging of more fox holes, the sharing of homes and food stocks with newly arrived displaced, maintaining support for the volunteer teachers, getting the most vulnerable families to refugee camps in South Sudan. Over a hundred men, women and youth may typically attend the meeting. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 14
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
26 Jan 2015

Neighbours help to clear the debris from a house hit by bombs in Tangal Village, Umdorein County. "They know there is nothing here except civilians" says El Hadi Kodi, 43 years old, as he helps look for anything to salvage. "This regime in Khartoum does not want peaceful coexistence, it wants to kill anyone who resists their terror and greed". (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 02
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
24 Jan 2015

A busy day at a local market in the heart of the Nuba Mountains. Despite the frequent bombing of such civilian targets by the Sudan Air Force, communities brave the risks of congregating for economic and social reasons as they strive to maintain some semblance of normality amidst the horrors of war. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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People of Nuba Mountains in Sudan 01
South Kordofan, Sudan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
23 Jan 2015

Keni Hawa Abdalah, 17, has had to become a street vendor in the central market in Kauda Town. "œWhy is Omar Bashir bombing our schools?" she asks. "Why does no one want to help us with school books so we can still study?"€. (South Kordofan, Sudan)

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Deported from US: Facing the Journey ...
Guatemala and Honduras
By Karim + Jenny
11 Sep 2014

Text by Jenny Gustafsson and Photos by Karim Mostafa

A crowd has gathered on the grass outside Guatemala City’s airport. They wait patiently, wander back and forth outside the gates. Suddenly a plane appears in the sky, sinks down behind the wall. This is what everyone has been waiting for – one of several daily flights arriving with men and women deported from the United States. “I’m here to meet my brother. He called us yesterday saying that he was coming back today,” says Azucely, a young woman with one child resting on her hip and another playing at her feet. Her brother had been in the US for five years, she says, when he got caught without papers. Azucely herself went through the same thing only a year before. “I had been in the US for nine years when I was deported, all the time without papers. I have three kids born over there. I left Guatemala when I was young, only 14. My mum took a bank loan to send me. She did the same with my brothers too.” Azucely relates a common narrative among young people from the region, who are migrating in ever-growing numbers. The Central American immigrant population in the U.S. has nearly tripled since the 1990s, and now makes up the fastest-growing segment of its Latino population. But the story for many ends suddenly. Over 2 million people have been deported during Obama’s years in power – more than any other period in the past. “Each week, between nine and 14 flights land here, full with people. Most come with nothing at all,” says Mario Hernández at Guatemala City’s airport.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST 

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Central America Immigrants 07
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
By Karim + Jenny
11 Sep 2014

A chartered flight with deported migrants lands at San Pedro Sula's airport. Lidia de Souza, who works with receiving the migrants, says the numbers today are 10 to 20 times higher than when she started working in the 1990s.

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Central America Immigrants 13
Guatemala City, Guatemala
By Karim + Jenny
11 Sep 2014

Four men just arrived to Guatemala City on a flight from the U.S. are reflected in the airport window. They are given juice and tortillas, and the NGO Asociación de Apoyo Integral al Migrante help them with one phone call and advice – but once they step outside the airport gates they are on their own.

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Central America Immigrants 14
Guatemala City, Guatemala
By Karim + Jenny
11 Sep 2014

A man walks out from Guatemala City's airport, carrying only a small bag in his hand. The number of Central American migrants arriving in the U.S. informally is on the rise, including that of unaccompanied children. The reasons for leaving the region are many – not least the high levels of violence and lack of social and economical security.

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Central America Immigrants 08
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
By Karim + Jenny
27 Aug 2014

Two security personnel waiting outside the airport in San Pedro Sula, the second largest city in Honduras. Every day, one flight in the morning and one in the afternoon arrive with deported migrants from the U.S..

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Central America Immigrants 09
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
By Karim + Jenny
27 Aug 2014

Adrian Peña Carratero, a father of two, on the free bus taking arriving migrants from San Pedro Sula's airport to the bus station. He has everything in the U.S., he says, as he has lived there all his life.

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Central America Immigrants 11
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
By Karim + Jenny
22 Aug 2014

Julio Torres, who was born in the U.S., lived all his life undocumented. Three years ago, he was deported. He now works at a call center in San Pedro Sula, dubbed for several years in the row 'the most dangerous city in the world', with extremely high homicide rates. All across Central American cities, these call centers are set up, and young people deported from the U.S. are recruited straight from the airport – their language skills and intercultural backgrounds make them ideal employees.

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Central America Immigrants 01
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
By Karim + Jenny
21 Aug 2014

A man and a boy waiting for a flight with deported migrants to land at the airport in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The country has among the highest homicide rates in the world – San Pedro Sula has topped the list several years in a row – and widespread poverty, currently at 65% of the population.

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Central America Immigrants 06
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
By Karim + Jenny
21 Aug 2014

Sister Valdete Wilemann and her colleagues, working at the non-civilian part of San Pedro Sula's airport where two daily flights land with deported migrants from the U.S.. Many have been caught at the border trying to enter, others have lived their entire lives in the country.

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Central America Immigrants 02
Guatemala City, Guatemala
By Karim + Jenny
12 Aug 2014

The young daughter of Azucely, who was deported in 2013, looks underneath the gate to the airport in Guatemala City. They are waiting outside for Azucely's brother, who was also deported and is arriving with the next flight.

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Central America Immigrants 03
Guatemala City, Guatemala
By Karim + Jenny
12 Aug 2014

Azucely and her youngest daughter waiting for Azucely's brother to arrive at the airport in Guatemala City. Their mother had taken bank loans to pay for the siblings' trip with coyotes, organised smugglers, to cross the border to the United States. But eventually, both of them were deported back to Guatemala.

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Central America Immigrants 04
Guatemala City, Guatemala
By Karim + Jenny
12 Aug 2014

Azucely from San Marcos, nearby Guatemala's border with Mexico, waiting for a flight with deported migrants arriving at the airport in Guatemala City. Every day, families gather outside to pick up returning relatives, as do taxis and buses bringing people back to rural parts of Guatemala where most migrants come from.

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Central America Immigrants 05
Guatemala City, Guatemala
By Karim + Jenny
12 Aug 2014

The mother of Azucely, who sees her son for the first time in five years. Many people in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, called the 'Northern Triangle', are separated from family members who have left in search of better opportunities and safety in the United States.

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Central America Immigrants 12
Guatemala City, Guatemala
By Karim + Jenny
12 Aug 2014

Three friends who just arrived at the airport in Guatemala City. Most people arrive with nothing or very little – they carry plastic bags with whatever belongings they brought with them.

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Qeshm Island, Iran
Qeshm
By Nicola Zolin
07 Aug 2014

Located in the Strait of Hormoz, in the Persian Gulf, the island of Qeshm is rapidly expanding, growing in population, business and infrastructures.
New hotels and living quarters are eating up the arid landscape to accommodate the tourists and the international business community. Qeshm enjoys the status of free enterprise zone: visas can be obtained easily by foreigners, the circulation and convertibility of foreign currency and capital is unrestricted. The city-capital has particularly become a major hub for Iranians tourists and business men alike. However, the West of the island is still inhabited by one of the most traditional communities of Iran. Fishing is the leading occupation, but an increasing amount of workers are employed in the gas extraction industry.