TTM Mena Desk TTM Mena Desk

MENA Production for TTM

Collections created

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Yemen Videos (April 11 - April 17)
Yemen
By TTM Mena Desk
12 Apr 2015

A collection of videos from the war in Yemen from April 11th to April 17th.

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Yemen Videos (March 30 - April 10)
Yemen
By TTM Mena Desk
09 Apr 2015

A collection of videos from the war in Yemen from March 30th to April 10th.

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ISIS Checkpoints in Libyan Port
Derna, Libya
By TTM 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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Baghdad Ballet
By TTM Mena Desk
20 Jan 2015

The Baghdad School of Music and Ballet is a tiny oasis of art and creativity for children living in Iraq’s war-torn capital. Here the children feel safely removed from the conflict and violence that is an inescapable part of daily life in Baghdad, as illustrated by the comments of 14-year-old ballet student May:

“Once I come to school I feel safe…When I am here I forget about everything that is happening outside.”

The institution was founded in 1968 and thrived in a time when Baghdad’s elite patronized art and culture. Russian instructors were brought to teach ballet and music.

From the 1990s onwards the situation became increasingly violent, there are huge sectarian divisions that resulted in the rise of extremist groups taking control over huge parts of the country. The school has managed to survive decades of turmoil and is a testament to the resilient nature of Baghdad’s residents as Principal Ahmed Salim notes:

“The school never closed its doors at any time. It kept going just like all the educational institutions, in spite of all the conditions and difficult situations.” Another rarity is that it is one of the few schools in the country, in which classes are not separated by gender; boys and girls take classes together from kindergarten to high school."

Transcription:

May Ahmed, 14, Ballet Student (Girl, Arabic)

(01:02-01:33) “I leave home everyday at 6 am, and come to this school to make my ultimate wish come true, which is to become a ballet dancer. This is what I want to be. Ballet is an art, an amazing art, and my dream is to become a ballet dancer. My family does not mind me being a ballet dancer. I cannot give up on this dream and once I make it happen I will feel safe, and forget about all that is happening out in the streets.”

(01:36-02:03) “Once I come to school, I feel safe, the school is very safe and secure. When I am here, I forget about everything that is happening outside. When you are here, you feel that life is good, and different from how it is outside, it is very safe. I love it so much and when I am here, I forget about everything that happened to us.”

(02:10-02:36) “It is possible, we Iraqis are safe, and I do not think they will harm us. There are problems but the school is safe, and the soldiers outside protect the school and protect us from harm.”

(02:38-02:55) “Of course, I am afraid of being in the street because explosions keep occurring. You do not know when someone goes and blows himself up. But this issue is in the hands of God. When an explosion happens I get really scared, but this is Iraq, what can we do?”

(03:08-03:35) “I do not wish to leave this school, it is my strength and my dream to become a ballet dancer. This is the dream for all the girls and I wish to accomplish it. Hopefully I will accomplish this dream, and when I do, I can live safely among all the problems that are happening. I hope that one day I can do solo dances and become a professional ballet dancer.”

Zena Akram Faydi, 33, Ballet teacher (Woman, Arabic)

(04:17-04:50) “When we enter the school, we forget about everything else. I am not saying that because it is my school, but when we are here, we forget about the problems and leave them behind. Once we enter the ballet hall, or the school in general, it is only the students and us. We forget about everything else, it is like we are in another world. I think this feeling that we get here is what makes us patient in the face of what is happening outside. Ballet and the school is what keeps us going.”

(04:57-05:21) “The things that we talk about inside the ballet hall, which dance, which exercise, which musical piece, we do not hear about which [political party] each one supports and where each one comes from. We hear about what musical pieces they listened to yesterday and what dance routines they have practiced. We talk about recitals; this is the talk inside the ballet hall.”

Ahmed Salim, 42, Principal (Man, Arabic)

(05:28-05:54) “This is the only school in Iraq that teaches ballet, in addition to the study program that we have from the ministry of education. This school has maintained a certain quality over the years and will continue to maintain this special quality.”

(06:04-06:26) “The school includes students from all sects, all religions, all Iraqi ethnicities, and all categories. The school represents the situation of the Iraqi community and the diversity in it, concerning sects, religions and all other types and traditions.”

(06:39-07:28) “In any closed society, when it turns to be a masculine society, all the wrong traits will start to appear, but when we are in a community that is not segregated, men and women and active, and highly educated, well raised and well structured, disciplined, and contained in a school environment, we will not face any problems, the school have not noted one ethical violation since the day it was established and until today.”

(07:36-08:28) “The student of this school has qualities different from other students. They are subtler, more flexible, and more intelligent. There is no other school that offers the method of teaching that we do, we offer a science certificate at sixth grade, and a diploma in arts. We offer the students two degrees in two fields that are known to be difficult, and they are no less difficult that the Ministry of Education’s program.”

“The school never closed its doors at any time. It kept going just like all the educational institutions, in spite of all the conditions and difficult situations.” Hussein Thaer, 13, Music student (Boy, Arabic)

(08:43-09:07) “When I was in the fifth grade, an explosion happened near the school. My five friends and I were really afraid. I was with my sister, so when the explosion happened I started to look for her, and I could not find her. In the end, I found her sitting in the stadium, I was afraid.”

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Leaked ISIS personal photos from Raqqa
Raqqa
By TTM Mena Desk
12 Jan 2015

Undated picture in Raqqa, Syria, shows Moroccan ISIS field commander Suleiman al-Harraq aka Abu Obeida al-Maghribi (right) posing with other ISIS fighters aged between 13 and 30. The pictures were taken by the ISIS members after they graduated from the "Combat Academy".

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ISIS Self-Recorded Videos: Europeans ...
Syria, Iraq
By TTM Mena Desk
01 Jan 2015

NOTE: The video clips in this collection were obtained by Transterra Media from a source who received it from an ISIS member. According to the source the videos were recorded in different locations in Syria and Iraq and on different dates in 2014.

Transterra Media cannot independently verify the accuracy of this content.
The appearance of this video on the Transterra Media (TTM) website does not in any way constitute endorsement by TTM of any claims or statements made in the video.

Former German rap singer Denis Mamadou Gerhard Cuspert (‘Deso Dogg’), a member of ISIS who calls himself Abu Talha al-Alman, appears in two videos urging support for ISIS.

In one video an ISIS member speaks in French with an accent that appears to be from sub-Saharan Africa. He says all Muslim should take part in armed Jihad.

ISIS members from Morocco appear in two videos.

Other videos show the destruction of a Yazidi shrine and a teenage boy being flogged for eating during the fasting period in Ramadan.

Media created

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Idlib Drone Desruction March 3, 2020
Idlib
By TTM Mena Desk
03 Mar 2020

Idlib Drone Destruction, various aerials illustrating the damage inside of Idlib.

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رشز 1
Gaza
By TTM Mena Desk
04 Feb 2020

Gaza Rushes 1- Samia Hirzallah

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رشز 2_
Gaza
By TTM Mena Desk
04 Feb 2020

Gaza Rushes 2 - Samia Hirzallah

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Arab-Kurdish Coalition Retakes Strate...
Menbij
By TTM Mena Desk
10 Jun 2016

June 10, 2016
Menbij, Syria

Video Shows Arab and Kurdish fighters holding positions on the western frontline overlooking ISIS-held Manbij, a border city northwest of Raqqa, the defacto capital of ISIS.
The fighters were able to seize control over strategic al-Etihad university, previously an ISIS base.
Supported by U.S.-led air strikes and American Special Forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces have launched an offensive to retake ISIS-controlled Raqqa.

Arrad, Field Commander: “Today we were able to retake al-Etihad University, and cut the road between Aleppo and Menbij. We have also seized control over villages around Menbij from four sides and now we are waiting for the Zero hour to enter Menbij.”

No name given, Field Commander:
“We are now near al-Etihad university, 4 to 5 km east of Menjib. Menbij is besieged from all sides, our forces are besieging from north, east, and south, and we are here on the western side. Our forces reached the Osajli road. The situation is great thanks God, we were able to kill scores from ISIS and we are waiting for the Zero hour to enter Menbij.”

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Aleppo Burial
Aleppo
By TTM Mena Desk
17 Feb 2016

This video shows Free Syrian Army fighters preparing a grave to bury the body of a young Kurdish fighter, believed to be a member of the PYD, killed during a battle in a northern area of Aleppo, Syria. It is claimed in some reports that the PYD (Democratic Union Party) is affiliated with the Kurdish PKK in Turkey. The FSA accuses the PYD and PKK of collaborating with the government of Bashar al-Assad. The contributor who shot the video says the FSA also claims the Kurdish militia group is using child soldiers. The Assad regime has in the past admitted to providing support to the PYD.

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Houthi Gunmen Open Fire at Civilians ...
Aden
By TTM Mena Desk
27 Mar 2015

Aden, Yemen
March, 27th

THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT

This video shows angry supporters of President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi surrounding an abandoned Houthi military vehicle on Sheikh Othman Street in Aden.
Retreating Houthi gunmen retaliate by opening fire and forcing the mob to flee the area. The body of a Houthi fighter, killed during earlier clashes, can also be seen. An armored personnel carrier that belonged to Houthi militias appears in the video in front of a building that was used by the retreating Houthi forces.

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Isis checkpoints in derna 08
Derna, Libya
By TTM Mena Desk
15 Mar 2015

March 15, 2015
Derna, Libya

An ISIS fighter mans an anti aircraft gun on the back of a 4x4 at an ISIS checkpoint in the city of Derna.

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Isis checkpoints in derna 09
Derna, Libya
By TTM Mena Desk
15 Mar 2015

March 15, 2015
Derna, Libya

Masked gunmen guard a checkpoint in the Libyan port city of Derna. Each checkpoint is manned by 10-15 fighters carrying Kalashnikovs and hand grenades as well as 4x4 vehicles equipped with anti-aircraft machine guns.

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Isis checkpoints in derna 07
Derna, Libya
By TTM Mena Desk
15 Mar 2015

March 15, 2015
Derna, Libya

Fighters who have pledged their allegiance to ISIS guard checkpoints in the city of Derna.

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Isis checkpoints in derna 06
Derna, Libya
By TTM Mena Desk
15 Mar 2015

March 15, 2015
Derna, Libya

A masked gunman mans a mounted machine gun at an ISIS checkpoint in the Libyan city of Derna.

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Isis checkpoints in derna 05
Derna, Libya
By TTM Mena Desk
15 Mar 2015

March 15, 2015
Derna, Libya

A masked gunman stands next to a machine-gun mounted truck at an ISIS checkpoint outside the city of Derna.

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Isis checkpoints in derna 03
Derna, Libya
By TTM Mena Desk
15 Mar 2015

March 15, 2015
Derna, Libya

Masked gunmen standing in front of an ISIS flag wave a taxi through a checkpoint in the city of Derna.

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Isis checkpoints in derna 04
Derna, Libya
By TTM Mena Desk
15 Mar 2015

March 15, 2015
Derna, Libya

An ISIS fighter mans the anti aircraft gun on the back of a 4x4 at an ISIS checkpoint in the city of Derna.

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Isis checkpoints in derna 02
Derna, Libya
By TTM Mena Desk
15 Mar 2015

March 15, 2015
Derna, Libya

Masked gunmen guard a checkpoint in the Libyan city of Derna. Each checkpoint is manned by 10 to 15 fighters carrying Kalashnikovs and hand grenades as well as 4x4 vehicles that carry anti aircraft machine guns.

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Isis checkpoints in derna 01
Derna, Libya
By TTM Mena Desk
15 Mar 2015

March 15, 2015
Derna, Libya

Masked gunmen guard a checkpoint in the Libyan port city of Derna. Each checkpoint is manned by 10-15 fighters carrying Kalashnikovs and hand grenades as well as 4x4 vehicles equipped with anti-aircraft machine guns.

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ISIS Show Off in Derna
Derna
By TTM Mena Desk
28 Feb 2015

February 2015
Derna, Libya

Video shot by an eyewitness at the end of February 2015 showing ISIS militants parading through the streets of the northeastern Libyan city of Derna.

The fighters drive in convoys sounding their horns and showing off their guns and flags on a public highway in central Derna as they pass by civilian cars.

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Egyptian Airstrikes on Derna Claim th...
Derna
By TTM Mena Desk
16 Feb 2015

February 16, 2015
Derna, Libya

At least seven civilians including three children were killed on February 16, 2015, when Egyptian jets bombed suspected ISIS affiliates in the eastern Libyan city of Derna, Amnesty International said, citing eyewitnesses.

The video shows the airstrikes hitting Eastern Shiha, a suburb of Derna, and medics attempting to resuscitate children wounded in the airstrikes without success. It also shows civilians walking amongst the rubble of the damaged buildings.

The Egyptian airstrikes on Libyan soil are a retaliation to an ISIS video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya.

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Tribes of Marib Prepare for War and A...
Ma'rib
By TTM Mena Desk
02 Feb 2015

Ma’rib, Yemen
February 1, 2015

Tribesmen in the predominantly Sunni area of Ma’rib, east of Sanaa, prepare for war with the Houthis and threaten to create their own autonomous state within Yemen. The tribal fighters have installed checkpoints, known as “matarih”, in the middle and around the perimeter of Ma’rib. In local tradition this act is considered as the highest possible security precaution, putting local tribal disagreements to one side. The “matarih” is enforced by fighters patrolling the area in heavily armed convoys and setting up fixed bases in tents. This precaution may last days, months or even years.
The tribal elders believe that the drums of war have been beating ever since Houthi militants took over the capital Sanaa and forced the president to resign. Abdullah bin Jaradan, a prominent tribal leader, says that they will not recognize the Houthis as legitimate rulers of Yemen and they will not put down their guns unless president Hadi is restored to office.
In order to prevent a Houthi takeover in the oil-rich province of Ma’rib, the elders have assembled a fighting force to defend their lands and resources.
Ma’rib is considered an area of great strategic importance due to its oil fields. It produces around 25,000 barrels per day.

Transcription:

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Hamad Bin Waheet
(01:08 – 02:27)

01:08
“We were mobilized on the first day [of the events] in order to protect the province of Marib, so that it would not be invaded by the Houthis like they invaded the province of Omran and Sanaa. We are still ready and prepared for anything. We are on alert on the road of Farda –Sanaa- Marib; the road from Sirwah to Marib; and the road from [Beit] Mrad to Marib. All the tribes have taken positions along these three lines. “

01:36
“We have had weapons for a long time, not today. We have had weapons before the Houthis entered Omran or other provinces, such as al-Jawf. Tribes have all sorts of weapons. Each tribe represents [is as strong as] a state. Each of Yemen’s tribes has weapons and men, as well as God on their side. “

02:01
“We have a number of 23 mm and 14 mm machine guns; mortars; 50 mm machine guns; rifles; and we have 22 mm and 83 mm mortars. All tribes have this kind of weapons. Most tribes have had these weapons before and acquired them during wars among tribes. However, thanks be to God, there are no more wars among tribes, except for the fight against the Houthis.“

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Abdullah bin Jardan

02:54
“If God willed it and the state collapsed, we will protect the oil and form a confederate region of Sabaa. We will act like an independent region.”

03:34
“This depends on the consultations in Sanaa. There is a lot pressure on the president to rescind his resignation; however, we have to take everything into account. The regions of Sabaa and Marib have all the wealth, whether he [the president] returns or not. “

04:06
“We were not satisfied with administration in the previous era, but it was a transitory period. But the Houthis carried out a coup d’état. We were not completely satisfied with the performance of the president and the government.”

04:25
“Now there are regional and sectarian divisions and there might be a regional and sectarian war if the country collapsed, God forbid.”

04:42
“We demand the establishment of a fair state, which would rule Yemen with equality and allows for a partnership. Afterwards, the Yemeni people in general could surrender its weapons.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, man) Awad bin Ma’ili

05:13
“This is the result of our own efforts, thanks be to God. We are gathering whatever we can, like the squads you can see now. This is the effort of each person as well as ours. We are buying heavy and light weapons, depending on what we can acquire.”

05:38
“We are tribes, and tribes are known in Yemen. Each tribe has several [weapons], bought with private money. They are used to stand against whoever wants to invade our country.”

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Suleiman al-Harraq in Raqqa 02
Raqqa
By TTM Mena Desk
26 Nov 2014

Pictures taken in December 2014, in Raqqa, Syria, shows Moroccan ISIS field commander Suleiman al-Harraq aka Abu Obeida al-Maghribi (centre) posing with other ISIS fighters aged between 13 and 30. The pictures where taken by the ISIS members after they graduated from the "Combat Academy". Photo by Transterra Media

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8 Year Old Yemeni Bride
Ibb
By TTM Mena Desk
08 Jan 2015

January 2014-January 2015
Ibb, Yemen

Local police forces step in to prevent a father, Adel Abdul Malik Shbeibi, marrying his 8-year-old daughter, Eftikhar, to a 40-year-old man in the Ibb province in southwestern Yemen. The girl’s uncles, along with NGO activists and police, came to the Wadi Qadam village, and took her to safety as Adel was making preparations for the wedding.

Waheeb, an activist in a local Yemeni human rights organization, found out about the arranged marriage from Eftikhar’s uncles and alerted the authorities hours before it could take place. The authorities handed her over to her uncles, who opposed the marriage, and arrested her father. Adel was kept in custody for two days and only released after signing a declaration that he would never again force his daughter to marry at such a young age. Ayman Afif, the 40-year-old would-be husband was nowhere to be found and is still believed to be hiding.

This video was filmed in January 2014. A Transterra Media contributor returned to the village one year later and eventually gained access to the father, who had repeatedly refused to be interviewed.

Child marriages are not uncommon in the impoverished province of Ibb. In the village of Wadi Quadam there are no cars or electricity. The young girl’s father used to work as a motorcycle taxi driver but had to stop after being injured in an accident. With no job he was unable to support his family. To resolve this he decided to wed his daughter to a wealthy man from al-Aoud in return for money to feed his family.

The video shows the young girl in wedding dress hours before the wedding. At first Eftikhar refused to talk or even show her face to the camera, but after a while she agreed to speak. Very frustrated, she only said little.

Interviews:

Ali Saleh Moqbel Atef, Uncle, (man, Arabic)
(01:30)

"My name is Ali Saleh Moqbel Atef, and this is my niece. This child cannot handle this, marrying this girl at such a young age is condemned by God and his prophet."

"Everyone should stand against this, and whoever has a child at this age should condemn this behavior."

Interviewer: How old is the groom?
Ali Saleh Moqbel Atef: "He is old, very old."

Interviewer: How old is the child?
Ali Saleh Moqbel Atef: "She is 8 years old, in the third grade."

Mouatassem Ali Saleh Moqbel Atef, Uncle, (man, Arabic):

(02:28) "I am her uncle, me and him, we are protecting her, and we are going to tell the government about any assault from her father or her uncles from her father's side."

Police Force Director, (man, Arabic):

(03:18) "We were informed yesterday night that a family was marrying their 8 year old daughter. We gathered some information and it turns out to be true. We headed to the house which we found it to be locked from the inside while she was there. We talked to her and told her that it is important to go out and that what is happening could be bad for her. She left the house and we handed her over to her uncle who is protecting her now."

Adel Abdul Malik Shbeibi, Girl's father, (man, Arabic):

(04:33) "I have 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls."

Interviewer: How did you tell her that you were going to marry her?
Adel"I told her that Thursday will be your wedding day, she was happy."

Interviewer: So she does not know anything about this matter?
Adel"No she does not, and the reason for doing this is poverty, and the difficult living situation."

(05:06) Interviewer: have you received money from the person who wants to marry your child?
Adel: "I received money to pay my debts and to provide for my children.

(05:30) Adel "I used to work on a motorcycle, but I was destined to be in an accident. I stayed in the hospital for over 20 days. I was in a coma. I was injured in the head and in my spinal chord.

(06:09) Adel: "I cannot work to support my children, because of the headache due to my injury and the pain in my spinal chord. I have no income, I registered in the social security about a year ago, and until now, they did not give me anything."

(07:00) Adel "I do not have other married daughters."

Interviewer: So this is the first one?
Adel: "Yes this is the first one."

Interviewer: How old were you when you got married?
Adel: "I married when I was 25."

Interviewer: And how old was your wife?
Adel: "She was between 18-21" (they do not have a birth certificate to accurately determine their age).

Interviewer: How did you financially manage your marriage?
Adel: "I used to be a worker, I collected some money, took it to my wife's father, who is dead now, and I told him that I have some cows and goats, I sold some of them and got married."

Eftikhar Adel Shbeib, Child bride (girl, Arabic):

(07:46) Interviewer: What did your father tell you when he informed you that you will be getting married?
Eftikhar: "To pay his debt."

Interviewer: What did you tell him?
Eftikhar: "Yes."

Interviewer: You told him yes?
Eftikhar: "Yes."

Interviewer: Do you want to get married?
Eftikhar: "No."

Interviewer: Are you sure?
Eftikhar: "Yes I am."

Interviewer: Do you want to finish studying?
Eftikhar: "Yes I do."

Interviewer: Do you know anybody who got married?
Eftikhar: "No."

Interviewer: Do you know what marriage means?
Eftikhar: "No I do not."

Interviewer: Do you even want to be married?
Eftikhar: "No."

Fouad Mohamad Abdo, family neighbor (man, Arabic):

(09:16) Fouad: "The reason is poverty and the lack of money, a person does anything to live and to provide for his family. This man owns one room and has many children."

(09:40) Fouad: "No we do not know that it is illegal, of course we do not understand the law. If we did, none of this would have happened."

Interviewer: Do you think it is okay to marry this child?
Fouad: "I fell bad for this child, she is just a child, and I cannot accept that idea."

(10:29) Interviewer: Do you attend child weddings usually?
Fouad: "Me, I consider a child to be too young to complete marital task, it not logical.

Aref Abdo Mosleh al-Tir, Mayor, (man, Arabic):

(10:46) Interviewer: What do you think of child marriage?
Aref: "It is not acceptable and I am against marrying young girls.

Interviewer: Why is it so common in Yemen?
Aref: "Because of poverty and bad living standards."

Interviewer: Does law protect those young girls?
Aref: "No, there is no law to protect them."

Interviewer: Do you attend child weddings?
Aref: "No I do not."

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Handmade Yemeni Daggers, 10,000 Dolla...
Sanaa
By TTM Mena Desk
06 Jan 2015

In Yemen it is rare to see a man in public without a traditional dagger, known as a ‘Jambiya’, on his waist. Although they barely have any practical use, the ceremonial daggers have been an integral part of the male Yemeni identity for centuries. While outsiders perceive the dagger as a type of weapon, Hussein al-Azizi insists that it is solely for decoration and a symbol of power and honor.

  • Hussein Hussein al-Azizi, Merchant, (man, Arabic): “I carry a Dagger, because it is an accessory for myself, and a pride for all the Yemenis. It is not a weapon as many consider it to be, it is an accessory for men to wear, it was used as a weapon in the old times when people traveled from one village to another as protection since they did not have guns.”

Some Yemeni men spend fortunes on their jambiya. It is not unheard of for a man to spend over 10,000 dollars on this accessory as Hussein did.

  • Hussein Hussein al-Azizi, Merchant, (man, Arabic): “What makes my dagger special is that it is made from the horn of a rhinoceros. I believe it is really special and better than other jambiyas and it is worth $10,000. There are even more luxurious ones but I believe in the old proverb, which says, "My beast is better than the King's horse."

This workshop owned by Hussein Mohamad al-Azizi in the old city in Sanaa, has been producing traditional jambiyas for generations. Today it has adapted and specializes in handles made of bull’s horns, since the more desirable materials of ivory and rhinoceros’ horn have been banned.

  • Hussein Mohamad al-Azizi, Dagger Workshop Owner, (man, Arabic): “There has been a ban on hunting rhinos since 1982, enforced by The United Nations, especially for Yemenis. So we had to rely on Kerk daggers made of bull’s horns, so we can keep selling and not lose our profession and preserve this Yemeni accessory.”

The jambiya consist of the belt, used to keep the dagger on the waist, the blade forged from steel, and most importantly the handle, which determines the quality and price of the jambiya.

The most superior and expensive knives, known as “Seifani”, have handles carved from rhinoceros’ horn. The second best, “Aaji”, have handles made of ivory. Due to hunting regulations, both these types of daggers are now rare. The next level down is made of bull’s horn and called “Kerk”. The lowest have handles made of wood, fiberglass

  • Hussein Mohamad al-Azizi, Dagger Workshop Owner, (man, Arabic): “The best dagger currently at al-Azizi dagger shop is al-Sefani, which dates back 400-600 years. It is made from rhinoceros’ horn. There is a difference between the daggers made from the horn of a rhinoceros and the Kerk dagger made from the horn of bulls, and the Chinese dagger, made out of wood and fiberglass, which overran and ruined the market.”

It is considered shameful if a man pulls out his jambiya in a confrontation, instead it is used in joyous celebrations. The jambiya decorated the waist of the groom at Yemeni weddings and is an essential part of al-Baraa traditional dance.

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Baghdad Ballet
Baghdad
By TTM Mena Desk
27 Dec 2014

The Baghdad School of Music and Ballet is a tiny oasis of art and creativity for children living in Iraq’s war-torn capital. Here the children feel safely removed from the conflict and violence that is an inescapable part of daily life in Baghdad, as illustrated by the comments of 14-year-old ballet student May:

“Once I come to school I feel safe…When I am here I forget about everything that is happening outside.”

The institution was founded in 1968 and thrived in a time when Baghdad’s elite patronized art and culture. Russian instructors were brought to teach ballet and music.

From the 1990s onwards the situation became increasingly violent, there are huge sectarian divisions that resulted in the rise of extremist groups taking control over huge parts of the country. The school has managed to survive decades of turmoil and is a testament to the resilient nature of Baghdad’s residents as Principal Ahmed Salim notes:

“The school never closed its doors at any time. It kept going just like all the educational institutions, in spite of all the conditions and difficult situations.” Another rarity is that it is one of the few schools in the country, in which classes are not separated by gender; boys and girls take classes together from kindergarten to high school."

Transcription:

May Ahmed, 14, Ballet Student (Girl, Arabic)

(01:02-01:33) “I leave home everyday at 6 am, and come to this school to make my ultimate wish come true, which is to become a ballet dancer. This is what I want to be. Ballet is an art, an amazing art, and my dream is to become a ballet dancer. My family does not mind me being a ballet dancer. I cannot give up on this dream and once I make it happen I will feel safe, and forget about all that is happening out in the streets.”

(01:36-02:03) “Once I come to school, I feel safe, the school is very safe and secure. When I am here, I forget about everything that is happening outside. When you are here, you feel that life is good, and different from how it is outside, it is very safe. I love it so much and when I am here, I forget about everything that happened to us.”

(02:10-02:36) “It is possible, we Iraqis are safe, and I do not think they will harm us. There are problems but the school is safe, and the soldiers outside protect the school and protect us from harm.”

(02:38-02:55) “Of course, I am afraid of being in the street because explosions keep occurring. You do not know when someone goes and blows himself up. But this issue is in the hands of God. When an explosion happens I get really scared, but this is Iraq, what can we do?”

(03:08-03:35) “I do not wish to leave this school, it is my strength and my dream to become a ballet dancer. This is the dream for all the girls and I wish to accomplish it. Hopefully I will accomplish this dream, and when I do, I can live safely among all the problems that are happening. I hope that one day I can do solo dances and become a professional ballet dancer.”

Zena Akram Faydi, 33, Ballet teacher (Woman, Arabic)

(04:17-04:50) “When we enter the school, we forget about everything else. I am not saying that because it is my school, but when we are here, we forget about the problems and leave them behind. Once we enter the ballet hall, or the school in general, it is only the students and us. We forget about everything else, it is like we are in another world. I think this feeling that we get here is what makes us patient in the face of what is happening outside. Ballet and the school is what keeps us going.”

(04:57-05:21) “The things that we talk about inside the ballet hall, which dance, which exercise, which musical piece, we do not hear about which [political party] each one supports and where each one comes from. We hear about what musical pieces they listened to yesterday and what dance routines they have practiced. We talk about recitals; this is the talk inside the ballet hall.”

Ahmed Salim, 42, Principal (Man, Arabic)

(05:28-05:54) “This is the only school in Iraq that teaches ballet, in addition to the study program that we have from the ministry of education. This school has maintained a certain quality over the years and will continue to maintain this special quality.”

(06:04-06:26) “The school includes students from all sects, all religions, all Iraqi ethnicities, and all categories. The school represents the situation of the Iraqi community and the diversity in it, concerning sects, religions and all other types and traditions.”

(06:39-07:28) “In any closed society, when it turns to be a masculine society, all the wrong traits will start to appear, but when we are in a community that is not segregated, men and women and active, and highly educated, well raised and well structured, disciplined, and contained in a school environment, we will not face any problems, the school have not noted one ethical violation since the day it was established and until today.”

(07:36-08:28) “The student of this school has qualities different from other students. They are subtler, more flexible, and more intelligent. There is no other school that offers the method of teaching that we do, we offer a science certificate at sixth grade, and a diploma in arts. We offer the students two degrees in two fields that are known to be difficult, and they are no less difficult that the Ministry of Education’s program.”

“The school never closed its doors at any time. It kept going just like all the educational institutions, in spite of all the conditions and difficult situations.” Hussein Thaer, 13, Music student (Boy, Arabic)

(08:43-09:07) “When I was in the fifth grade, an explosion happened near the school. My five friends and I were really afraid. I was with my sister, so when the explosion happened I started to look for her, and I could not find her. In the end, I found her sitting in the stadium, I was afraid.”

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Moroccan ISIS Member Calls for Jihad
Raqqa
By TTM Mena Desk
17 Dec 2014

Sulaiman al-Harraq, also known as Abu Ubaida, a Moroccan ISIS field commander appears in a video he recorded himself, calling for Jihad. The video is believed to have been shot in Raqqa, Syria, in December 2014.

Transcription:

00:02
In the name of Allah.
00:08
Thanks be to Allah, whom we beseech and ask for forgiveness. And may Allah protect us from our evil selves and sins. He who is guided by Allah is verily guided. He who is humiliated by Allah shall have no ally.
And thereafter,
00:35 – 01:53 VIDEO FROZEN
01:54
[Reciting the Quran] “Ye call me for this, that should O blaspheme against God and associate with Him that whereof have no knowledge, call you onto the Mighty, the Most-Forgiving. Without doubt ye only call me Unto that which is not to be invoked in the world nor in the Hereafter; and verily our return shall be Unto God, and the extravagant! They shall be fellows of the Fire. And anon ye shall remember that which I am telling you. I confide my affair Unto God; verily God is the Beholder of His bondmen.” 02:55 Allah’s messenger Peace be upon Him said, “None of you truly believes till he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”
Yes, look how the Prophet’s companions were, how it was to…
[Interrupted by incoming call on walkie-talkie, the fighter replies] Who wishes to talk to Abu Ubaida? Repeat, Repeat. Transmit, Transmit. Who wishes to talk with Abu Ubaida? [UNINTELLIGIBLE] No problem, be at ease, brother.

03:58
Where were we? I said to you: see how the Prophet’s companions acted - what life was like during the time of the Prophet’s companions, may Allah bless them. They loved each other. They followed Allah and the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him)’s teachings. They stayed firm in supporting their brethren, they did not languor. They did not sit, watching helplessly without talking. Not at all!
04:31
Our brothers are being killed while we watch. Our sisters are being raped while we watch. Our children are being killed while we – what? – while we play around. We watch pornography, listen to songs, smoke and do not care. You do not care.

05:03
Our sisters are being raped in Homs, while we watch. We fool around in nightclubs and sing. We sit helplessly. Is this what Islam should be? Is this how Muslims should be? By Allah, you are not Muslims.

Muslims are those who stand strongly with their sisters and defend their brothers.
Yes, a believer is strong when he is supported by his brother and weak on his own.

05:54
How could you tolerate watching your brethren being killed and tortured, and innocent children being slaughtered? Shame on you! Shame on you!

When you talk to someone and say to him: “O brother, come! Jihad is an obligation. Come to defend our honor! Come to stand with our brothers! Come to defend our Muslim sisters!”
He would say to you: “I want to live.” Do you want to live while they do not? Do you want to live while they do not have the right to live? Are you a Muslim as such? By Allah, you are not. Islam is far from you.

07:01
Yes. When you talk to someone and say: “Jihad is an obligation.” He would say: “I practice jihad against my own self.” It is easy to say that you practice jihad against yourself. You pronounce this easily.
When does jihad against oneself occur? It occurs when you are guided; when you distance yourself from what is disreputable and disobeying Allah; when you distance yourself from listening to songs, distance yourself from smoking. This is how you practice jihad.
07:44
Jihad against the self is something between you and your God. You do not do it for God’s slave – ‘I practice jihad against my own self for the sake of this or that person.’
Now, jihad is an obligation. Jihad has two parts: defensive jihad and proactive jihad. Now, defensive jihad is an obligation.
Defensive jihad is practiced when the enemy invades a country, when an infidel assaults a Muslim.

08:30
Today, we are watching…All Muslims are humiliated. All Muslims are disgraced. All Muslims are violated, while we watch. Is this your sense of brotherhood? Is this your manhood? Not at all! Women are better than you!

09:01
Yes, our hearts are harsh. How? Because we have abandoned God’s Book; we have abandoned God’s words; we have abandoned the Prophet’s teachings; we have abandoned arbitration according to God’s laws; we stopped following the teachings of our Prophet Mohammad Peace be Upon Him.

Yes, our hearts are harsh. Someone would say to you: “No my heart is not harsh.” Yes, your heart is harsh! Why is your heart harsh? Because… if your heart was not harsh, Palestine would not have been occupied. It has been occupied for decades.
If your heart was not harsh, your sisters in Homs would not have been raped. If your heart was not harsh, your Muslim brethren in Central Africa would not have been annihilated.

10:01
Today, we are watching; we are watching and we do not care! Today, your sisters in Homs are being raped. Tomorrow, the same will happen in Damascus. After that, someone will come to your home and rape your mother, sister, and wife while you are watching. Is this what Islam should be like? By Allah, it is not.
When will you rise? When will you awake from your sleep? When will you become conscious? When? When the entombed rise? Are you waiting for the entombed to rise and stand by our brothers? To stand by your sisters? To defend your honor?

11:02
By Allah, shame be on you! By Allah, shame be on you for standing speechless and careless. Your brothers in Gaza are being bombed, tortured and killed. And what do we do? We watch. And each year, we demonstrate, saying: “No to terrorism! No to terrorism! No to terrorism!” Is this how we will help achieve the victory [of Muslims]?
Unless you pick up your arm and stand to defend your sisters and fight the criminals and infidels, your turn will come. By Allah, your turn will come. Your mother, sister and daughter will be raped while you watch. Your wife will be raped while you watch.
12:05
Is this the way to be a Muslim? Not at all! You are not a Muslim. The Prophet Peace be Upon Him said: “If you enter into [usurpation], hold the tails of oxen [to plow the land], are pleased with agriculture, and give up jihad, Allah will make disgrace prevail over you, and will not withdraw it until you return to your religion.”
When will you return to your religion? When will you return to your consciousness? When? When a small group defends your sisters and kills the infidel and hateful Alawites, you call them “terrorists”.
13:01
If leaving my country, brothers and family and coming here to defend my sisters [in Islam] is terrorism, then I am a terrorist. I am honored to be a terrorist, because I terrorize the enemies of religion, the enemies of Islam.
13:30
I invite you to return to your consciousness, Allah’s words and the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him)’s teachings; we should arbitrate according to Allah’s laws.
Allah almighty said: “And whosoever judgeth not by that which Allah hath sent down those then they are the infidels.”
We have abandoned the rule of Allah and followed the rule of Israel, America and Russia.

14:01
Yes, Israel wants democracy. America wants democracy. Russia wants democracy. Arab rulers want democracy. The people say they want democracy. What is democracy? Democracy, as they claim, is the rule of the people over the people. The truth is that it is the rule of the rich over the poor, and the poor’s enslavement by the rich.
How could we abandon Allah’s rule and be pleased with the rule of the infidels who have no faith?
By Allah, you are in shame.

15:03
Allah almighty said: “Those who if We establish them in the earth, shall establish the prayer and give alms and enjoin that which is reputable and prohibit that which is disreputable and unto Allah is the end of all affairs.”
“Those who shall establish prayer—” “Those who if We establish them in the earth, shall establish the prayer, give alms and enjoin that which is reputable and prohibit that which is disreputable and unto Allah is the end of all affairs.” It is our duty to enjoin what is reputable and prohibit what is disreputable. Yes. Allah’s Messenger Peace be Upon Him said: “Whoever of you sees an evil must change it with his hand. If he is not able to do so, then [he must change it ] with his tongue. And if he is not able to do so, then [he must change it] with his heart. And that is the slightest [manifestation of] faith.”
16:19
Yes. Is this not a disreputable evil? Will you sit silently? Is this not a disreputable evil? You listen to songs - is this not a disreputable evil?

[Interrupted by call on walkie-talkie] Yes, brother, transmit. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] I do not know [UNINTELLIGIBLE].

16:51
[CONTINUES TALKING WHILE SOUND IS HEARD VIA WALKIE-TALKIE] As I said to you, we have to return [to religion], to love one another and be brothers. Today, we Muslims are fighting each other while Israel and America watch. This is what they want. We fight each other, while America and Israel watch. Does this please you? By Allah, you are in shame. Repent to Allah, and return to… to… to Allah’s rule and the Islamic sharia. We invite you to be wise. We invite you to follow Allah’s words – to return to Allah’s words; to Allah’s Book and the teachings of our Prophet Mohammad Peace be Upon Him. Forgive us if we have talked for too long. May Allah reward you immensely.

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Banned from Making a Living for Secur...
Sanaa
By TTM Mena Desk
27 Dec 2014

40 year old Mershid al-Merhibi makes a living by transporting people on his motorbike through the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.
For 7 years the taxi motorbike has been the only source of income for Mershid, his wife and 5 children.
Despite his BA degree in business he has not been able to find a job and has no choice but to work as a taxi biker because of the high rate of unemployment and the government’s failure to resuscitate the economy.

Like all other taxi bike drivers in Sanaa, Mershid makes up to five US dollars a-day, which is barely enough to make ends meet. However, this income is now in danger.
At the beginning of December, 2014, the Yemeni government passed a law banning motorbikes in the capital to try to prevent frequent assassinations and acid attacks carried out by unknown gunmen on motorbikes.

The government claims that motorbikes makes it easy for criminals to conduct attacks and then quickly escape.

The taxi bikers say banning motorbikes is not the answer because it is their only source of income, and so Mershid and many others continue to work on their motorbikes at high risk of being caught by the police, who Mershid says will probably destroy his bike.

Interviews:

Mershid al-Merhibi, Motorbike Driver (man, Arabic):
01:41
"I am Mershid al-Merhibi. I’m 40 years old and graduated from Sana’a University. I was forced to work with the motorcycle because there are no jobs and I am unemployed. You can see for yourself how the situation is here.”

02:18
“I wake up each morning and get on my bike and make my way to this intersection to wait for passengers to come. Sometimes, I carry one passenger and sometimes two. They come and we negotiate the price and then I take them to their destination.”

02:44
“Sometimes I find 3-4 passengers a-day. God does not disappoint, and I am thankful for that.”

03:24
“During the past two years, a lot of problems happened with motorcycles. A lot of assassinations occurred here in Sana’a as well as in other provinces . Because motorbikes are easy to get away with, these wicked people use them as a tool to carry out assassinations and acid attacks. They ride and throw acid then easily escape on their bike. This act has ruined work for motorbike drivers including me.”

03:58
“I am just looking for work but I could not find anything except working on my motorbike. They need to find us a solution”

Hussain al-Shadadi, Traffic Officer (man, Arabic):
04:05
“There are people who really need the motorbike to make money. They don’t have any other source of income except with their motorbike. However, because there are criminals who are causing problems and assassinating people, politicians, security and army personal with it, making a living on a motorbike has been banned”.

Mershid al-Merhibi, Motorbike Driver (man, Arabic):
05:18
“Sometimes the government sends police patrols to confiscate motorbikes, they take it from you by force. If you can get away from them and manage to transport one or two passengers a-day, this is good for you. However, I have seen them take a motorbike and cut it in half before my eyes.”

05:54
“The money I make in this job is often saved. Some of it is spent on rent, the kids and their school and to buy basic necessities for living. Even though the money is not enough, it still helps out. If they take away our motorbikes, then may god help us; where will we go and what we will do”.

06:25
“We ask Allah for a better, stronger nation that will not prohibit motorbikes so people can make a living”

Shot List:

Various shots of Mershid on his motorbike
Various shots of bikers
Surveillance camera video showing an acid attack on a man in the street
Various shots of Mershid and passenger on the bike

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Handmade Yemeni Daggers, 10,000 Dolla...
Sanaa
By TTM Mena Desk
01 Dec 2014

It is rare to see a Yemeni man in public without a traditional dagger on his waist. While many would think of a dagger as simply a weapon, Yemenis consider it a necessary tool in a man’s daily life.

Some Yemenis are even willing to spend a large amount of money for a dagger. Tens of
thousands of dollars, and more. Sheikh Naji Ben Abdil Aziz al-Shayef, the head of the Yemeni Sheikhs, is said to have paid one million dollars to buy a dagger once owned by Emam Ahmad Hamid Eddine, the ruler of Yemen from 1948 to 1962.

The al-Azizi Family has been handcrafting and selling daggers for over a hundred years. The craft has been handed down through generations. The family owns the most famous dagger workshop and store in Old Sanaa.

Hussein Mohamad al-Azizi, the family patriarch, says the dagger is an essential accessory, a
Yemeni tradition just like the ‘Oqal’, the white head dress worn by men in the Gulf. His son Hussein Hussein al-Azizi believes the dagger is a symbol of power and honor for Yemeni men.

Yemeni daggers consist of three parts. The first is the handle, which determines the price of the dagger based on the material used. The second part is the blade, and the third is the belt used to carry the dagger on the waist.

The fanciest and most expensive daggers are the ‘Seifani’, with handles made of the horn of a rhinoceros. These have become rare since the hunting and trade of rhinoceros parts was banned by international agreement.

The second level, ‘Ivory’, are daggers with handles made from the tusks of elephants. The third level, ‘Kerk’, have handles made of the horns of bulls. The lowest level, mainly manufactured in China, have handles of wood, fiberglass or plastic.

Interviews:

Hussein Hussein al-Azizi, Merchant:

(00:41-01:29) I carry the Dagger, because it is an accessory for myself, and a pride for all the Yemenis. It is not a weapon as many consider, it is an accessory for men, and they used it in the old times as a weapon when they used to travel from a city to another or from a village to another, and because Yemen is a wild area full of mountains, and because many wild animals are spread across the area, in that case it is used as a weapons for protection, for the lack of guns and mechanic weapons.

(01:37-02:20) What makes my dagger special is, apart from the fact that a man always prefers his own possessions, that it is made from the horn of a rhinoceros. I believe it is really special and better than other jambiyas and it is worth $10,000. There are even more luxurious ones but I believe in the old proverb which says, "My beast is better than the King's horse."

(02:26-03:09) The yemeni dagger has many usages, such as in weddings, it is used as an accessory specially by the groom, and it is essential in “al-Baraa” dance (traditional Yemeni dance). What differs the daggers is the shape and the way it is made. What determine its price is the shape and the type of horn it is made of.

Hussein Mohamad al-Azizi, Dagger Workshop Owner:

(04:27-06:47) It is made from the horn of the rhinoceros, dates back to the time of Bin Zi Yazan .

Dagger initially became popular because they are the main aspect of the Yemeni accessory. Daggers differ from city to another and from a village to another. For example; in Saade province, dagger have a specific shape, different from the one in Maareb, Taaz al-Mohabsha, Al-hadarmi, and Sanaa, which has a very special collection.

The best dagger currently is al-Azizi dagger, and al-Sefani, which dates back to 400-600 years. It is made from the horn Rhinoceros. There is a difference between the daggers made from the horn of the Rhinoceros and the Kerk dagger made from the horn of bulls, and the Chinese dagger, which ruined the market.
There has been a ban on hunting rhinos since 1982 enforced by The United Nations, especially for Yemenis, so we had to rely on Kerk daggers made of bull’s horns, so we can keep selling and not lose our profession and preserve this Yemeni accessory. Each country has it’s own accessory type, in Oman for example they used daggers, in the Gulf they use “Oqal” (the white head dress), every country has its own traditions.

I want to correct some misunderstood information about daggers; they say that Yemenis use daggers used as weapons. I want to correct this piece of information to say that; they used them as weapons back in the time when they used to travel from a city to another, and go through long roads, and face wild animals, that is the only case when they used daggers as weapons. Other than that case, they are only used as an accessory, even 2-4 year old children carry daggers that are made for them, different from al-Sefani daggers.

(07:04-07:32) As for the blade, the sharp metal part, we get it from Hadramout, We have different types, Jubi, Adani (from Adan), Taazi (from Taaz), Senaani (from Sanaa). I currently have all types.

Shot List:

Various shots of daggers in al-Azizi shop
Various shots show the production of the daggers in al-Aziz workshop
Various shots of grooms with daggers on their waists
Various shots of grooms dancing “al-Baraa” traditional Yemeni dance in a mass wedding

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ISIS Blows Up al-Nasr Convent in Mosul
Mosul, Iraq
By TTM Mena Desk
24 Nov 2014

November 24, 2014
Mosul, Iraq

On Monday, November 24th ISIS militants blew up a convent in the Iraqi city of Mosul. This video shot by a local resident and obtained by Transterra Media shows what is believed to be the explosion.

Eyewitnesses reported that the group evacuated the area of Hay al-Arabi, northeastern Mosul, before blowing up al-Nasr convent. Residents were told to open the windows at their homes and stay away from the explosion site before militants set up the explosives.

The explosion damaged the convent, which has been vacant ever since ISIS took over the city in June 2014.

The convent was built in 1984 by the Iraqi government and housed nuns from the Holy Heart order of the local Chaldean Church. It served as a home for elderly women and women with special needs before ISIS captured it.

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Egypt Widens Gaza Buffer Zone, Homes ...
Rafah
By TTM Mena Desk
20 Nov 2014

November 20, 2014
Rafah, Egypt

The video shows buildings being blown up, destroyed homes and abandoned tunnels in Rafah on the Egyptian-Palestinian border.
80 year old sheikh Omar, a resident of the town, cries over the loss of his home.

Egypt’s cabinet issued a decision on October 29 to create a “buffer zone” in Rafah, North Sinai, on the country’s Eastern border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip. The decision aimed to clear 500 meters of the border area with Gaza of civilians. On Monday, November 17, the Egyptian authorities decided to double the depth of the “buffer zone” to 1,000 meters.

On Wednesday, November 19, a North Sinai official told the state-owned Middle East News Agency, MENA, that Egypt’s armed forces have so far destroyed 700 houses to create the “buffer zone” adding that the remaining houses in the area will be destroyed within the coming few days. The official said that the government has so far paid around 63 million Egyptian pounds in compensation to displaced Rafah residents.

The Egyptian authorities decided to create a "buffer zone" as one of the steps taken in response to militant attacks on security personnel in northern Sinai on October 24, which left over 33 killed.

Transcription:

Cameraman:
00:27 Is this your house?

Omar, Resident of Rafah:
00:30 Why do you think I am crying then? I am crying for the life I just lost.

00:40 May God be with us

00:46 We are leaving behind a whole era, and now they are slaughtering me. There is no power but of God.

01:10 Thanks be to God. I have nothing left.

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Hidden Camera in Mosul
Mosul
By TTM Mena Desk
15 Oct 2014

This video was shot secretly in the main market in Mosul Iraq on October 15, 2014.
Despite the threat of airstrikes by the American led coalition the video shows what appears to be normal activity in the market.
When ISIS took control of the city on June 10th, it imposed a strict dress code on women who where ordered to cover up their faces and bodies Niqab. However, some women have their faces visible in violation of the edict by ISIS. The Mosul resident who shot this video says that women who are not fully covered are often harassed by ISIS militants.

Shot List:

00:21 Woman with uncovered face
00:42 Woman with uncovered face
01:03 Woman with uncovered face
01:14 Woman with uncovered face
01:55 What appears to be an ISIS militant wearing a white Abaya and carrying a wooden pole and wearing a shoulder hostler
02:05 Pile of trash of the ground
02:12 Interview with a woman

Transcription:
- No name given, Resident of Mosul: "Imposing the veil is not really the problem, in contrary the veil is a protection for women, it also makes her more respectful. However the way they [ISIS] imposed it on us was harsh. Since then the prices of veils increased unexpectedly . The veil used to be for 4000 Dinars (4 USD) and still people barely used to buy it.. and it's locally made not even imported. A family with 4 or 5 daughters what shall they do.. They all earn little salary and the life conditions became harder, one should eat and survive with little money. They should take this into consideration."

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Iraqi Forces Break ISIS Siege of Amerli
Amerli
By TTM Mena Desk
23 Oct 2014

August 2014
Amerli, Iraq

The jihadis from the extremist group ISIS have partially withdrawn from the outskirts of Amerli, a town which they occupied, around 110 miles north of Baghdad. The breakthrough came after the United States carried out airstrikes and dropped humanitarian aid over Amerli. The video shows the aftereffects of the fighting in the town which was under the control of ISIS.

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Mosul's Struggling Economy
Mosul
By TTM Mena Desk
01 Oct 2014

October 1, 2014
Mosul, Iraq

After 5 months of ISIS rule, Mosul's economy is experiencing a severe decline in food and construction revenues. The local sellers say that prices in Mosul have risen sharply due to the closure of roads to Kurdistan and Baghdad, and the heavy clashes between ISIS and Peshmerga fighters.

Soundbite 1

(01:21) Contributor: Can you tell me what's the situation of the goods in the market? Are they available in the stores ? (01:32).

(01:32) Shop owner: We have a severe shortage when it comes to food supplies. We received supplies 4 days ago but in small quantities (01:42).

(01:43) Contributor: Where did you get them from ? (01:45).

(01:45) Shop owner: From Kirkuk, it's the only access to here, whereas the roads to other parts of Iraq are blocked (01:55).

(01:58) Shop owner: The only goods we are getting are Turkish. The Jordanian and Saudi goods usually arrive to Baghdad, and we have no access to there. We get them from Kirkuk although the distance is long and transportation is costly, which makes the products expensive. Plus, the sectarian conflicts between Sunni and Shia play its role, the supplies pass from Baghdad to Kirkuk, and then the situation changes (02:43).

Soundbite 2

(03:36) Contributor: Can you tell me what's the situation concerning the construction materials? (03:45).

(03:46) Construction worker: We have a shortage in the material, the factory responsible for supplying us with concrete is out of business now since there's no electricity, the roads to the factories where we get our sand from are blocked, because they're situated in the way to Erbil. The workflow is slow now due to security reasons and the lack of money for salaries. The people here are confused, they have no idea what will happen to them (04:23).

(04:29) Construction worker: The demand for construction is very low (04:36).