A photojournalist captures the forces that are involved in the conflict of Ras al-Ayn, Syria, and the civilians effected by the ongoing conflict. The photographs lead-up to the fighting that drove members from Jabhat al-Nusra and the FSA from the city on July 17. It is a battle for control over the identity of this ancient city — called Serekaniye by the Kurdish fighters and Ras al-Ayn by Arabs — that exemplifies the complexity of Syria’s civil war and the different ideologies involved. The YPG want autonomy. Jabhat al-Nusra is fighting for an Islamic state. The Free Syrian Army, who are allied with Jabhat al-Nusra, is losing morale and desperate for weapons and supplies. The journalist was in the city during the time of the second ceasefire. Pictured are the homes of Assad supporters who have since disappeared, Jabhat al-Nusra fighters, YPG and the Kurdish Women Defense Forces (YPJ), who were the catalyst for the most recent fighting.
Photos by Jeffry Ruigendijk
For full text by Annabell Van den Berghe, click here: http://transterramedia.com/media/20137
Abu Zechariah and his two sons are farmers in the Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain that are among the many people throughout Syria who have decided to start privately refining crude oil as a way to make money. Trucks come from Ramalan to Ras al-Ain, where they then begin the process. Despite the danger of using rudimentary refinery equipment, for them, the pay-off is worth the risk.
Rival rebel groups and regime forces continue to battle for control of strategic oil and gas fields in the northeast and east of the country. Since the war began, the local demand for oil has increased dramatically because of the disruption in supply to the west, which has led to small, privately-owned refineries being built throughout Syria. Though profitable, this process of refining crude oil is unhealthy and highly volatile, with the chance of an explosion anytime during the process.
Technically, it's called “arrearage innocent”: indicating people will be evicted because with their scarce income they are unable to pay the rent.
The families with many members are the most vulnerable; families of up to 6 often live in a 40 square meter apartments with little or no means to apply to public housing to relocate.
While social emergency demands increase rapidly, just in the city of Milan 5.000 public houses remain empty, waiting to be surveyed and put in condition to be inhabited.
The Mauhay family is from Philippines. Arnold, Mardy and their children Adrian, Alessa and Angel, were living in a house in the north of Milan. The building was very badly maintained, the stairs had no lights and the dangerous electric wiring affected their house. After their eviction they are living in a hotel with the support of the municipality.
Kumara and Mary are from Sri Lanka. They, as many others, are victims of the illegal rent black market. As they are undocumented migrants it is impossible for them to register without permits for a housing contract. When they tried to ask the owner to give them a proper lease, he increased the rent. They were unable to pay and soon after received an eviction notification. Now Kumara is living in his car, and Mary is hosted in protection housing with their son, Nathaka.
During the realization of this project I've built a close relationship with several families. In the beginning I tried to follow their stories from the notification to the eviction, but when the police and the legal officer avoid me to take photos during these moments, I had to focus my attention on other aspects of their stories, like details that could reveal the dramatic experience they were experiencing. After the eviction, in fact, some families went to hosting structures, another part moved to hotels with the support of the municipality, while many others had no other choice but to sleep on the streets while they wait for a public social house, to which they are entitled.
Protesters from all backgrounds rally in Tahrir square t0 continue celebrating and demonstrating against the ousted President Morsi on July 14, 2013. Christian and Muslim, women and men, gather together as one to dance, sing and chant slogans against the former Egyptian President Muhammed Morsi. With sexual assault prevalent in Tahrir Square, men have also organized groups dedicated in protecting women by forming chains around female protesters. Women who are protected by these men say they feel safer in the demonstrations and will continue to protest and join in the rallies.
Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.
With the Cambodian election campaigns now in full swing ruling party CPP leader prime minister Hun Sen makes a highly guarded visit to Siem Reap to attend various meetings. Hun Sen is the second longest serving leader in Southeast Asia and is one of the longest serving prime ministers in the world, having been in power through various coalitions since 1985. In 1987, Amnesty International accused Hun Sen's government of torture of thousands of political prisoners using "electric shocks, hot irons and near-suffocation with plastic bags. Hun Sen's government has been responsible for the sale of vast amounts of land to foreign investors resulting in the forced eviction of thousands upon thousands of residents from their homes throughout the country.
The Joint mass of Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks forms one of the largest National parks in the world and covers a massive 4% of Kenya’s total land area. Tsavo East the larger of the two, lies to the east of the Nairobi –Mombasa road, equidistant between Nairobi and Mombasa, and offers a vast and untapped arena of arid bush which is washed by azure and emerald meandering of Galana River. Guarded by the limitless lava reaches of Yatta plateau and patrolled by some of the largest elephant herds in Kenya
The Tsavo East National Park together with the Tsavo West National Park forms one of the largest National parks in the world and covers a massive 4% of Kenya’s total land area. Tsavo East the larger of the two, lies to the east of the Nairobi –Mombasa road and offers a vast and untapped arena of arid bush which is washed by azure and emerald meandering of Galana River. Guarded by the limitless lava reaches of Yatta plateau and patrolled by some of the largest elephant herds in Kenya
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The Cham Muslim group has been living in Cambodia for hundreds of years, many subsisting as fishermen and women. But in Phnom Penh, where the peninsula divides the Mekong River from the Tonlé Sap River, the development of a large hotel threatens many families. The Sokha Hotel, under construction next to the pier, will have more than 450 rooms. The Cham Muslim community, many of whom don't own houses or land, fear that hotel management will force them to vacate. Where they will go, nobody knows.
Mourners gather to mourn the victims of Srebrenica genocide at the Potocari memorial center during the burial ceremony.
The Cham Muslim group has been living in Cambodia for hundreds of years, many subsisting as fishermen and women. But in Phnom Penh, where the peninsula divides the Mekong River from the Tonlé Sap River, many families are threatened by the development of a large hotel. The Sokha Hotel, under construction next to the pier, will have more than 450 rooms. The Cham Muslim community, many of whom don't own houses or land, fear that hotel management will force them to vacate. Where they will go, nobody knows.
Families gather to mourn the victims of Srebrenica genocide at the Potocari memorial center during the burial ceremony.
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Approximately 500 protesters blocked the Dutra Highway, the main route between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's two largest cities, in another demonstration linked to the wave of protests sweeping the South American giant.
An inside look documented by embedded journalists of the North Kivu conflict from the perspective of M23: In light of recent peace talks with the Democratic Republic of Congo's government, Bertrand Bisimwa, M23 political leader, questions the government's call for peace. When the rebels took control of Goma in November 2012, the government asked them to withdraw and promised a negotiation. However, their form of negotiation resulted in an intervention brigade, authorized by the UN Security Council, which Bisimwa states was used as a form of an attack on the rebel group. He denies that the government sincerely wanted to make peace with the M23 rebels, and says if the government decides to attack in the future, the rebels have no choice but to defend themselves.
Bangladesh’s vibrant capital, Dakha, is home to more than 10 million people, making it one of the world’s most populated cities. Hundreds of people live beside the railroad in the Kawran Bazar slum, where residents face dire conditions in the unsanitary environment, such as a lack of running water.
Dhaka currently has a population of 14 million people, which is expected to increase to 50 million by 2050. Approximately 400,000 newcomers enter the city each year, most of whom are environmental refugees. Over-populated slums are filled with these refugees who have no choice but to put up with the poor living conditions. Dhaka is now considered to be the fastest-growing city in the world. Dhaka, Bangladesh, June, 2013.
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Minister of State for Antiquities Ahmed Eissa and the Japanese archaeological delegation answer questions at a press conference set for the Khufu Solar Boat excavation in Giza, Egypt. Discovered in 1992, excavators have been working hard to begin the removal of pieces of the boat to transport the 4,500 year old wooden ship.
A wave of protests took over Sao Paulo in early June, as thousands of residents peacefully marched against an increase in the price of a single bus fare. Authorities said the rise was well below inflation, which since the last price increase in January 2011 has been 15.5%, according to official figures. Violent clashes erupted when police arrested at least 200 demonstrators as they tried to break into the Mayor's Palace. Police officers were accused of firing bullets and tear gas at protesters and assaulting some participants and bystanders. The attacks that emerged angered the residents and shifted their focus from rising transport costs to wider issues. Sao Paulo, June, 2013.
Women of all ages took on the streets of Ankara to protest the authoritarian rule of PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Many said they feel safe and empowered during this time of unrest in Turkey's capital city. They protest for the notion of "freedom", which has become threatened under PM Erdoğan's 10 year, pro- Islamic rule. Ankara, Turkey. June 2013.
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Famous British actors Matthew Macfadyen and Myanna Buring visit Georgia to participate in film Epic, an international co-production between the UK, Germany, Russia and Georgia.
As it is mentioned in official press release of the Georgian National Film Center, Tbilisi-based Production Company 20 Steps Productions shoot Epic – international co-production between the UK, Germany, Russia and Georgia. EPIC is supported by the British Film Institute (UK), the HessenInvestFilm fund (Germany), Metra (Russia), and the French-German cultural channel Arte, as well as the Georgian National Film Centre.
The Ikarama community of the oil-rich state of Bayelsa, Nigeria struggles to survive with crude oil spills from Royal Dutch Shell, ruining their crops and natural spaces.
Kenyan civil society organization stage a dramatic demonstration that protested a move made by MPs to increase their pay perks and allowances. Inspired by the "Occupy Wall-street" the group of around 200 attempted to Occupy the Parliament but were greeted by anti riot police. The anti-greed protest was dramatically staged, pouring gallons of animal blood in the streets and carrying around large effigies of pigs calling the MPs "Mpigs".
The protest was organized to draw attention to the people's concerns over what they see as greed underlying the unsustainable, unaffordable increase in MP salaries.
This pottery factory in Gaza has been a source of income and pride for the Attallah family for generations. The tradition of pottery making in Gaza dates back centuries and has been a source of income and family pride. This ceramic factory rest underneath the Attallah family's home. The Attallahs consider the pottery industry a part of their identity and heritage. They are one of the oldest families producing pottery in Gaza. Their factory was established over 60 years ago and are now struggling to maintain not only their business but an ancestral tradition. The security situation in Gaza and the Israeli blockade has made their business unprofitable and on the brink of vanishing.
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The number of homophobic murders in Iraq is reported to be "in the hundreds" according to an official at the UNAMI (United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq), and Ali Hili of London based gay rights group Iraqi LGBT, has recorded more than 700 individuals killed in anti-gay murders. Figures like these are a great cause for concern, raising questions such as how acts of brutality and torture are continuing in a new 'liberated,' 'free,' and 'democratic' Iraq.
Gay men in Iraq have remained a target of the country's far-right religious militia groups, who are specifically targeting men believed to be homosexual whether it be based on fact or suspicion. Groups such as Ahl al-Haq (People of Truth) amongst others have publicly claimed responsibility for murders fuelled by homophobia across the country.
As a ramification of ongoing attacks, many gay Iraqis have left their homes and their country, with the most favoured common destination being Syria. Despite homosexuality remaining illegal under Syrian law and conviction resulting in a three year prison sentence, gay lives are of course still lived out on the streets of Syria's cities. For gay Iraqi men fortunate enough to have found temporary refuge in Syria the situation is anything but safe, and their guard can never be fully dropped. With a steady flow of Iraqis heading for Syria since the outbreak of war in 2003, certain areas of Syria are becoming a microcosm of Iraq. The suburb of Saida Zainab outside Damascus is home to a large number of Iraqi refugees as well as a large Shia shrine, which many Iraqis visit including members of the Mahdi army.
Recent political uprising in Syria has made the situation for these Iraqi men increasingly difficult. Some have again uprooted themselves and are in Syria's neighbouring countries, and a couple have even been forced to return to Iraq, putting themselves in great danger on a daily basis.
Identities have been hidden and names changed for the protection of the individuals.
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo | 09-06-2013
The problem of street children in Kinshasa continues to worsen, despite more than two thousand former street and orphaned children who have been housed and rehabilitated by a national government program. In the DR Congo, the street children are called “enfants sorciers,” meaning the witch kids who are usually victims of domestic violence, the HIV epidemic, early pregnancies, or suspected of practicing voodoo. Most of the children have confessed to pick-pocketing, regular drug use, expecially marijuana and sniffing petrol. A pilot project to rehabilitate thousands of children living on the streets of DR Congo is failing because government is excluding civil society from the rehabilitation program.Two years ago, the government began recruiting Kinshasa’s street kids and placing them into training centres under the auspices of the DR Congo National Service, to provide them trade skills, such as carpentry and tailoring. However following their graduation from life and trade skills training, the children often return to their old lives because there has been no planning by government on how the skills could be utilized by the kids to their benefit.
Thailand is a main destination for refugees in South and South East Asia. Thousands of immigrants cross its borders every year for economic reasons but also in search of protection from persecution or from the conflicts that ravage their own countries. They are refugees, people who leave their countries of origin fearing harm for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.
According to UNHCR data, Thailand hosts more than 85 000 refugees (as registered by the UNHCR) and 1200 asylum seekers (waiting for their recognition). Most of these people are Burmese nationals living in refugee camps located alongside the Thailand-Myanmar border (Burma). Nevertheless, as Thailand has not signed the 1951 Refugee Convention, refugees from other nationalities that cannot live inside camps are considered as illegal immigrants and face imprisonment and abuse from Thai authorities. Despite this, many refugees choose Thailand for logistical reasons; many of them come from Pakistan and Sri Lanka and it is easy for them to obtain a tourist visa to Thailand.
Women are among the most vunerable refugees. Many of them have suffered sexual abuse and torture in their countries of origin and, according to the UNHCR, are more likely to be subject to sexual violence and trafficking after fleeing. For single-mother refugees, the burden is even heavier as they have to look after the whole family alone. As illegal migrants in Thailand, they cannot find a job or get any income legally. Once recognized by UNHCR as refugees, they received an allowance that ranges from 2000 to 3.800 baths (64 to 122 USD), amount that refugees consider insufficient to meet their most basic needs.
Cairo, Egypt As traditional songs intermingled with prayers blared over loudspeakers, thousands of Cairenes took to the streets the evening of June 4th to celebrate the birth of Sayeda Zeinab, the granddaughter of the Prophet Mohamed.
Cairo, Egypt As traditional songs intermingled with prayers blared over loudspeakers, thousands of Cairenes took to the streets the evening of June 4th to celebrate the birth of Sayeda Zeinab, the granddaughter of the Prophet Mohamed.
While Cairo is the site for Sunni pilgrimage, Shi'a Muslims believe that her tomb is located in Syrian town of Set Zaynab. This difference in belief accurately captures the dogmatic divide between the two sects.
The tomb of Sayeda Zeinab is nestled in the heart of Cairo and boasts a stunning mosque enveloping the holy site. The celebration, which draws people from all walks of life in Cairo, is a decadent mix of carnival and piety. Sellers hawk plastic children’s toys beside merry-go-rounds, while the devoted flow in and out of the mosque.
Typical of Sufi mysticism, the men will twirl for as long as they can, with many succumbing to the inevitable dizziness that follows. The devout writhe and spin to the music, eyes often glossed over as they transcend the music in an attempt to make a spiritual connection.
Exhausted from both the stifling heat and the journey, hundreds of the pious Muslims lay asleep on the carpets inside the mosque. Many have taken the traditional pilgrimage of 7 days from villages in Upper Egypt to visit the tomb of Sayeda Zeinab. Beside the tomb as the hundreds clamour to touch it, perfumes are sprayed in the air and camera phones waved about in an attempt to photograph the holy site. The room holding the tomb is packed with people and sweat drips from the brows of every individual. Much of the practices during the celebration of Sayeda Zeinab’s birthday, like the perfumes and the goods for sale, are more cultural traditions than Islamic prescriptions.
The tens of thousands that flock to the street may seem standard to Cairo's image (forged through conflict and civil unrest) but the sense of revelry and celebration is a breath of fresh air to the stagnant summer heat of Egypt's political situation.
Thousands gathered for massive rallies in Istanbul that resulted in clashes with the police involving tear gas, water cannons and many injured protesters. Medical students set up emergency care stations while protesters continue to protest, building barricades out of bricks, cobblestones and fire.
Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, in the small town of Lalibela, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Wrapped in shrouds of early morning mist and cotton, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians stand in prayer at the edge of the rock church carved to resemble, what some believe is, Jerusalem. Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity is one of the only indigenous, pre-colonial Christian churches in Sub-Saharan Africa and still maintains its ancient rituals.
Hundreds of people protested Saturday evening in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem against the one-percentage point VAT increase, which was set to go into effect at midnight.
What started as a demonstration to save Gezi Park in Istanbul has turned into countrywide protests. In Turkey's capital, Ankara, peaceful protesters were met with tear gas and water cannon. The protests have now escalated into a call for PM Tayyip Erdoğan to step down.
Each year May 31 is observed as World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), with the aim to spread awareness about the pitfalls of tobacco consumption. Tobacco use is one of the biggest public health threats the world has faced to date. May 31, 2013, Photo by Yasir Kazmi, Karachi, Pakistan.
Almost 2,500 people die in Pakistan daily due to consumption of tobacco and smoking. Many people suffer from asthma and bronchitis, in addition to the more severe cases of cancer and heart attacks.
Tobacco use is rising in Pakistan, with about 30.7 percent of men estimated to be smokers, Pakistan stands at the brink of a devastating health and economic disaster. The steep rise in the use of tobacco amongst youth, especially young girls and women, is depriving the country of a healthy workforce, while increasing the burden of disease on an already overburdened health sector.
The fact that approximately 1,200 children start smoking daily represents a huge health and economic disaster.
Individuals who smoke cigarettes are 12 times more likely to die from lung cancer, two to four times more likely to develop coronary heart disease, twice as likely to have a stroke, and 10 times more likely to die from chronic obstructive lung disease.
Although many people are aware of the health issues associated with smoking, they are unable to quit due to nicotine addiction. However, willpower and personal determination to break free from the addiction play the most crucial role.
Activists from the April 6 youth movement launched a strike in front of the Internal Ministry in solidarity with activists detained in Al Aqrab Jail.
Homes are reduced to rubble after the devastating tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.
The Aghori are a Shauvite Hindu sect in India that believe nothing is blasphemous or independent from God. What differentiates them from other Hindu sects is their taboo rituals, which include cannibalistic and alcohol-related ceremonies. These rituals are associated with death and dead bodies; participants cover themselves with human ash, wear human bones, and sleep on and among dead bodies. They are all based on the belief that even in death, a human body is beautiful because it is God’s creation, and remains contain a life force to be harnessed.
The majority of the Indian community believe that the Aghori are a lower-class sect because of such rituals. However, traditions are changing among some Aghoris. In Varnasi, one of oldest inhabited cities in the world, there is a temple called Avadhoot Bhagwan Ram Kustha Sewa Ashram which welcomes the more progressive Aghoris who no longer take part in old rituals. Instead of claiming lower-class qualities, they tend to those who are truly the lowest on the sectarian hierarchy in society, as they run a center for the lepers in Varnasi.
This photo-essay explores the ancient rituals of the old and new Aghoris, including a yogi, Sri Baba Nagnath Yogeshwar, who has not bent his elbows in 17 years and has not eaten in seven, all to prove his devotion to God. The essay also portrays how some of these followers are changing to benefit those who need help most in Varnasi, India.
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Migrants from Africa and the Middle East are held in a detention center in the Greek village of Tychero, on the border of Turkey and the Evros river. Many migrants swim across the Evros River and register with the Greek Police, which legally permits them to stay in Greece for 30 days while they continue to seek passage on to Italy. Bradley Secker, Patra, Greece
Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili held a press conference to speak directly to representatives of regional and international media.
Ivanishvili stated he does not plan on remaining in politics, and does not intend to become the president of Georgia.
During the press conference the Prime minister also discussed the state budget, pensions, tariffs for electricity, and Georgian-Russian relations. The Prime minister also discussed the reforms in juridical system and courts, his visit to Azerbaijan, and planned negotiations with the government and president of Azerbaijan.
After decades of civil war Gorongosa National Park is growing again thanks to an American millionaire that is donating part of his wealth to preserve the diversity of flora and fauna living on the reserve. Around and inside Gorongosa live around 250,000 persons that continue struggling to survive from a hard daily life after decades of civil war that came after independence from Portugal
On May 20th a powerful tornado struck the city of Moore, a suburb just south of Oklahoma City with a population of 55,000. The tragic event left 24 dead, among them 9 children, and around 300 injured. The twister was one of the largest and strongest that has ever hit the area, leaving thousands of residents homeless. In the interview below, a victim discusses how he feels after the total loss of his home and belongings which he worked so hard to obtain. There are also interviews with three young volunteers (one local and two from out of state) who are helping victims recover their valuables.
Raw footage and photos from a major battle with the Taliban in Kabul. Afghan forces fought for six hours with insurgents after they assaulted and besieged a building in the centre of Kabul. The insurgent attack was preceded by a very large explosion, believed to be a car bomb, and more intense gunfire. The firefight raged into the night with multiple explosions believed to be rocket propelled grenades fired by both Afghan security forces and insurgents.
Crude oil theft has become a common phenomena in Africa's most populous nation, Nigeria, which ranks seventh among oil-producing nations. The majority of citizens in the Niger Delta live on less than $1 per day, despite the fact that the country possesses vast natural resources and produces over 2 million barrel of crude oil daily.
The resulting widespread poverty has turned many toward criminality for income, particularly oil theft.
Zoin Ibegi in the oil-rich Niger Delta says, "Many of us live below one cent a day, despite being blessed with crude oil whereby forcing many of us into illegal refinery business because we can't continue in this poverty circle."
On daily basis, crude oil is emptied into the rivers, owing to low technical-know-how of these locals are not educated on the ecological repercussions of their actions.
The Niger Delta's Joint Task Force (JTF) is responsible for eradicating oil theft in the region. Though citizens see crude oil theft as an option as a result of an inability for them to get out of poverty in another way, the JTF believes that communities in the region have shielded the "thieves" and are perpetuating a culture of criminality.
Members of Sri Lankan Marxist People's Liberation Front, hold Placards as they shout slogans during a protest march in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, May 23, 2013. Hundreds of Marxist supporters protested against an increase in electricity charges and demanded an immediate reduction. Sri Lanka has raised electricity charges from last month in a bid to recover huge losses incurred by the state-run electricity utility
The Islamic Extremist Organization "Ansar al Sharia" members demonstrate in the Capital Tunis.
“Our way of life is our religion, and our teaching. If we are relocated by force, we will die slowly. The people would not be in balance with Mother Earth and Sky Father and the spiritual people. In every way, here we are connected to the land. We belong here.”
-Mary T. Begay, Navajo elder-
For over twenty years now Clan Dyken, a Californian music band, have returned to the Arizonian Navajo reservation, annually, to help Dineh natives fighting a relocation process. In the weeks preceding Thanksgiving, they go on tour, raise money and awareness towards the Dineh situation, and then travel across the country to deliver goods and firewood to the Indians. For several days, they set up camp in the desert, split food units for the local families, and do whatever is needed to help them live on the land of their ancestors.
Since the XVIth century and the discovery of the New World by the first Europeans, relations between natives and « Anglos » have been chaotic. In 1868, in the South West, after a decade of intense persecution against the Dineh nation, a peace treaty was negotiated with the federal government, granting the Indians a reservation the size of Ireland (ten times smaller than their original land). Located in a semiarid area of northern Arizona, and ruled by a specific tribal administration, it allowed a calming between the settlers and the Dineh. The Indians could regain some autonomy on their sacred land.
The surroundings of the Grand Canyon and Black Mesa regions, in the heart of the reservation, are rich in mineral resources. Uranium was exploited for strategic reasons during the cold war and coal for energetic reasons for more than a century. The cost of both these exploitations, in terms of health and environmental impact, were overlooked. The price paid by local natives is heavy, and denies their belief, where Mother Earth is sacred. Most of the Dineh do not hesitate to voice their disapproval of this mining policy, but industries show preference towards the prices reached by the minerals. To force the departure of the Indians and their relocation outside the reservation, a policy of service desertification is beng driven by the US government, clearly aiming for the extraction of resources.
“The Beauty way” is a Dineh medicinal ceremony restoring the internal balance of a being. Throughout these 20 years of activism, the volunteers from Revive the Beauty Way, hand in hand with the natives, fight to reach this balance between the “Anglos” and the Dineh.
In the Idlib region, North-Western Syria, hundreds of families take refuge in the "dead cities", which are Byzantine and Christian archeologic sites from the 3rd to the 6th Century.
In the Shansharah site, 80 km from Aleppo, Syrian displaced people have transformed graves into shelters: these dark and humid places are the only safe place they found to protect themselves from rockets, mortar and air attack.
Even if this part of the Idlib region has been liberated from the regime by rebels, bombings and air attacks from the Syrian army still are the daily fate of the inhabitants. Most of the Shansharah refugees are coming from Kafr Nabel and Kafr Rouma, two free cities regularly targetted by the Syrian army.
Living conditions are extremely hard in the Shansharah site : there is no electricity and running water. The closest water well is three kilometres far from the site. Displaced people go there everyday to get water. In the site there is only an ancient thermae with stagnate water that can be used to wash dishes and the clothes. Children often dive into this microbes nest. As a consequence, diseases are proliferating because of the lack of hygiene. The first disease is however coming from an insect: the leshmaniose, which gives big and red spots that erode the skin; it is spreading among Shansharah's displaced people, especially children. No organization is providing them any treatment.
A selection of images from the last two years in London, United Kingdom.
Children, Agriculture & Military Forces in Afghanistan
British photojournalist Bradley Secker journeys through Bangladesh, the world’s most densely populated country. Bangladesh hosts a staggering 161 million packed into an area that is 147, 570km sq. Along the way, Secker encounters laborers, farmers, craftsmen, rickshaw pullers, tribesmen, garment workers, roadside doctors, and other regular people, most of whom provide him with a warm and friendly welcome. Unfortunately, as the majority of Bangladesh’s land is less than 2 meters above sea level, it is under increasing threat of environmental disasters. This threat is a problematic added stress to a country that is already dealing with a fractured economy.
Scenes from the Libyan Revolution
Around one hundred activists in St. Petersburg participated in a rally to commemorate May 17, the day that homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990.
Behind Mayotte’s tropical paradise image lies a precarious social situation rife with slums and poverty. This island, an overseas department of France located in the northern Mozambique Channel, suffers from problems such as a chaotic migration policy, a saturated education system, and poor health care. It is also a destination for illegal immigrants from nearby Comoros. These illegal immigrants face grave danger in their journey to Mayotte in search of a better life. Once they are in the country, they often settle in the slums.
One shantytown in particular — located in the Kawéni commune — has become known to many as the “largest slum in France.” It’s a sea of undulating shacks with an exceptionally high youth population. Most of the inhabitants are from Comoros, though there are also Congolese and Rwandans as well. Youth come to the country with family, and alone – as was the case for Comorians Djof and Abdallah. For them, the hope of a promised land is nothing but a long gone memory. All they have found is an indefinite waiting game for jobs, shelter, and naturalization.
In a referendum on the island of Mayotte, located in the Indian Ocean, 95.2% of the population voted in favor of becoming an overseas territory of France. Shortly after, on the 31st of March 2011, Mayotte officially became the 101st overseas territory of the French Republic. With 212,645 inhabitants living in an area of 376 km2, the island is the most densely populated of France’s overseas territories.
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Activists in Egypt collected hundreds of signatures for a rebel statement campaign from Egyptian citizens against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Muslim brotherhood.
n Pakistan, a nation of 160 million people, 34% of its population lives below the poverty line. This estimate is much higher than the official government figure of 24%, but precious little seems to have been done to address the issue.
This problem is directly linked to the country tax structure, with the majority of the revenues going into coffers of federal and provincial government, forcing the local bodies dealing directly with the poverty to plead with these authorities for more money. The debate over this issue has been ongoing for years.
Pakistan's parliamentary elections are due to be held on May 11, 2013. Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehrik- e- Insaf (PTI) and Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) have been campaigning intensely the past several weeks before the election polls open.
A bullfighting competition is organized in Taruka, Nuwakot, 80 km north of the capital Kathmandu. The traditional event is held yearly at Maghe Sankranti.
Khat, a stimulant similar to the coca leaf in South America, is heavily distributed within Nairobi, the largest city and capital of Kenya. It is cultivated in Meru and arrives in Eastleigh, a suburb of Naroibi, at 2 pm everyday. Khat is pre-ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on each sack, which local vendors then collect and sell to local chewers. Local khat vendors come to Eastleigh to sell the stimulant to Somalis who make up most of their customer base. Since it's an important cash crop for Kenyans and Ethiopians, Khat is a thriving business. It is now Ethiopia's second largest export behind coffee. Though khat has been banned by the US and other European countries, it remains legal in the UK and is shipped to the UK four days a week from Kenya.
Pakistan celebrated its first General Parliamentary Elections on May 11th, 2013.
The elections are the first civilian transfer of power following the five year term of a democratically elected government.
With over 4 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Colombia is among the top three countries in the world with the highest rates of internal displacement. Afro-descendants have been one of the communities most affected by Colombia’s internal armed conflict. Seeking security, shelter and a way to make a living, over 7000 afro-Colombians have arrived in Bogota’s neighborhood El Oasis. Through music and dance, they have found a way to deal with their problems and heal the wounds of the violence they have experienced.
A Transterra Media Production produced by Ramy Romany, Nigel Hetherington and Seema Mathur. Sizzle Reel, Screenshots and treatment below. Please contact [email protected] for more information.
Palestinian protestors confronted Zionists on Jerusalem Day in front of Damascus Gate. Arrests where made by Israeli security forces
Jerusalem Day is a holiday that commemorates the establishment of Israeli control in 1967.
Interviews sharing the opinions of PTI party supporters and proponents of Imran Khan for the next Prime Minister of Pakistan.
A series of photos capturing clashes involving police, protesters and tear gas.
Pakistan, Lahore : LAHORE, PAKISTAN - MAY 09: Rescue workers attempt to extinguish a fire and to rescue peope trapped in the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Plaza on May 09, 2013 in Lahore, Pakistan. Rescue work is underway at the site of the fire with fire trucks being used to extinguish the fire and helicopters used to rescue stranded victims from the roof of the building.
Lebanon, and its capital Beirut, are often represented by the media as islands of freedom in the Middle East. The well-heeled neighborhoods of Achrafieh are reminiscent of a Parisian boutiques, while nightlife in Gemmayze and Hamra could compete with the scene in Berlin. Behind the glossy images of futuristic skyscrapers and flawless female beauty, Lebanon is a country where women are denied the right to pass citizenship onto their children and to their non-Lebanese husbands.
The consequence of this is a lack of legal status and ultimately a lack of access to social rights. The children of a Lebanese woman married to non-Lebanese man are not considered legal Lebanese citizens, despite the fact that these children were in were born and raised in Lebanon. These children are "al-Maktum Qaid" or "stateless.” Being a Palestinian refugee, or a being descendant of those who rejected the Lebanese citizenship during the last census in 1932 to avoid military service (when Lebanon was still under French mandate), is another way people acquire the status of "al-Maktum Qaid".
The "stateless" do not have passports, do not have access to public health care, cannot attend public schools, and do not even have the right to own private property. Marriage and travel also become difficult or impossible. Furthermore, children excluded from nationality rights can be denied residency and deported.
Not only do women pay the consequences of this law, the entire family and society as a whole does too. The government has refused to discuss the law, which dates back to 1925. Perhaps this is because a change in numerical terms by one group over another would result in a shift in political representation and the balance of power within the government.
Granting women the right to pass on citizenship would lead to an increase in the number of Muslims within Lebanon and could possibly open the doors to Palestinian refugees.
Unofficial estimates speak of 35,000 Lebanese women are married to foreigners, and the numbers of the "stateless" exceeds 100,000 out of a population of almost four million.
By Phillippa Stewart, Kuala Lumpur
Read Full Article Here: http://transterramedia.com/media/17361
Malaysian protestors have defied the police ban to rally against election results. Thousands of protestors risked arrest to attend a rally protesting against what opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has called “the worst electoral fraud” in Malaysia’s history.
Demonstrations continue during a week of resistance in Bahrain. Protesters demonstrated near the main street and stayed for long periods of time, peacefully confronting the riot police patrols. Eventually, riot police attacked the protesters heavily and protesters used molotov cocktails to deter them and deny police entry into the village.
General Elections were held in Malaysia May 5, 2013. Prime Minister Najib Razak's National coalition and the opposition People's Alliance fronted by Anwar Ibrahim were in a close tie in the political campaign race.
Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, 28 February 2013.
Kibera is a slum in Nairobi, the biggest in Africa. According to the datas of the Kenya Population and Housing Census (2009) Kibera is composed by twelve villages with a total population of about 170,000 people. Other statistics talk about 800,000 people living in the slum (2006 - Mike Davis, a well known expert on urban slums); International Housing Coalition (2007 - IHC) talked about more than half a million people and UN-Habitat had released many estimations, ranging between 350,000 and 1 million people (2013).
The name "Kibera" is derived from the Nubian and means "forest", the area in fact was a woodland.
It was established in 1912, when the British colonial government founded a settlement for 600 soldiers of the Nubian King's African Rifles regiment and their families.
In 1948, the worsening of hygiene conditions in Kibera led to the formulation of the first formal requests to dismantle the slums. This project was never brought to fruition, and the population of Kibera continued to grow, up to a real population explosion since the seventies.
Now it is an extreme poor settlement and the residents live in critical hygienic conditions: basic services don't exist, such as running water and electricity.
Water is collected from the Nairobi dam but it is not clean, and as a result it causes typhoid and cholera.
Toilet facilities don't exist too, as well as medical services: in Kibera there are no hospitals and only charity organizations help from this side.
In addition, glue sniffing and cheap drugs are an increasing problem that is affecting the population of the slum.
Onlookers watch as the flag-draped coffin with the body of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher passes by 10 Downing street in London, Britain 17 April 2013. Baroness Thatcher died after suffering a stroke at the age of 87 on 08 April 2013.
Igcabuyao, a village in the province of Iloilo in the Philippines, is a three hour car ride from any main city. The terrain is tough, and transportation inaccessible. People often walk several hours to buy food, and frequently live below the poverty line, growing only peanuts to sustain themselves without outside help.
To keep hunger at bay, locals have for generations turned to an unlikely food source: bats. The village of Igcabuyao is located near six major bat caves, an important resource for their survival.
Fruit bats are considered a delicacy in this area.. Poi bat and Adobong Paniki, deep fried bat with soy sauce, are thrilling dishes for exotic food lovers. Today, bats are frequently served as appetizers in wine bars.
Georgia is home to a diverse set of ethnic groups . Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Abkhazians, Ossetians, Russians or Ukrainians have all settled together to call this country home.
Mansehra, Pakistan .
-Supporters of legendary cricket player and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan take part in Pakistan's parliamentary elections campaign. May 3, 2013.
"Lubna Lal is one of Pakistan’s first transgender electoral candidates, who will be running in upcoming national and regional elections.
Commonly known as Madame Lal, Lubna Lal has won considerable support from her community in the Punjab province of Jhelum. Ironically, the city is known for providing a large number of soldiers to the British and later to the Pakistan armed forces, making it known as a city of soldiers, or a land of martyrs and warriors. However, it is a former wedding dancer that has put the region back on the map.
Pakistan has an estimated 500,000 “eunuchs” - meaning homosexuals, transexuals, transvestities and castrated men. Many of these individuals resort to lives of prostitution, begging, or work as wedding dancers to support themselves.
Previously ridiculed and shunned from society, it took a landmark Supreme Court ruling in 2011 to allow transgendered people to not only vote, but also to stand as candidates. Since the campaign began, seven transgendered candidates have registered their interests, though only two remain in contention.
Lubna Lal was only 15 when she left her home, and now vows to not only stand for the transgendered community, but for everyone living in poverty. “I want to help poor people and improve education, health services, and sewerage. The poor people of this area are happy I am standing.”
Members of April 6 youth movement after being released from jail. Egyptian police arrested them after protesting in front of the internal minster's house last march.
School teacher Gul Khandera’s stubborn resistance to the Taliban has made her a heroine in her hometown of Siljbon, and a voice for girls' education rights in Pakistan. The school where Gul Khandera was teaching, which also happens to be the school where Gul herself was educated, was threatened by the Taliban because it had female students.
Gul Khandera's refusal to comply with the Taliban's demands made her a personal target, forcing her to move to Mardan. When the Taliban were ousted from Swat, Gul returned and was relieved to see that her school had not been destroyed. Now a considered a hero, Gul has become headmaster of the school and is working to re-establish education for girls in the Swat Valley.
Workers in Lahore, Pakistan, observe International Labor Day. Workers in Pakistan face dangerous working conditions, often supporting their families on a dollar a day.
Md Azmi Ismail, 55, also known as Pak Mie and his wife Halijah Idris, better known as Mak Intan, 65, are both animal lovers. For the past 20 years Pak Mie and his wife have been tending to the needs of stray animals, especially dogs with diseases such as mange and cataracts.
With their combined love to care for animals in need, the couple established the Pak Mie shelter on a vacant area near the the river in Tanjung Bendshara. The shelter that has been operating for the past 4 years 450 km’s away from Kuala Lumpur. The couple have put in their savings to run the shelter and take donations from campaigning on social media sites such as facebook or via word of mouth. Their facebook page alone has become popular with nearly 5000 “friends” pledging their support to the shelter.
The married couple, volunteers at the shelter and its supporters are not only giving aid to these animals but are also attempting to overturn Malaysians perception that animals such as dogs should be disregarded. Much of this public view stems from some of the Muslim population of Malaysia being taught that touching or having a dog is forbidden. It is acceptable to have a dog as a guard or for hunting but not as a pet, particularly not a domestic pet.
Although Pak Mie and Mak Intan have put in a lot of their own money and time into caring for these stray animals they have drawn the attention of malicious gossip. They have been accused as running the center as a cover to hold donation money. They have also been accused of mistreating the animals and torturing them. Pak Mie and Mak Intan strongly deny all these allegations putting forward that it was only until a video about the center went viral on the internet that they started to receive public donations. Prior to that the family ran the center with their own money.
The Pak Mie shelter now tends to over 700 dogs, over 100 cats, as well as exotic animals such as foxes, squirrels and monkeys in a 200 meters x 30 meters compound shelter. Pak Mie feeds them with at least 5 large bags of rice taking him 3-4 hours to feed them.
The shelter is now family operated bringing in his son to help. Contrary to their efforts the shelter is under investigation from the local authorities and they may have to relocate under the pressure of landowners and local land authorities.
Raj Kumar is one of many Nepalis who contracted HIV from a dirty needle. He is now trying to reintegrate into society despite his condition, and is working hard to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a singer.
Though Raj Kumar knew that he had HIV in 2004, he didn’t disclose the fact to his wife out of the fear of ruining his family and being stigmatized by society. It has now been two months since Raj Kumar disclosed the news about his HIV infection to his wife, with much care and counseling.
He took advantage of the help of his friends, colleagues and counselors to do the “impossible task,” of telling others. Raj Kumar said that he waited for “the right time,” but always “felt heavy with the guilt of hiding it from his wife.” The right moment, however, eventually arrived, after nearly a decade of secrecy.
“It was difficult to gather the courage to tell,” he added. “Now I have gathered courage to face it.”
Raj Kumar is now pursuing his childhood dream to become a singer. HIs first song, “Mod,” was released during a function in Kathmandu on April 29, 2013.
“I was born genius, drugs spoiled me,” said Raj Kumar, looking back at his life. When he reached grade eight he began using drugs, eventually becoming addicted. It was very late that his mother, his primary caretaker, finally found out about his substance abuse problem.
According to government data, an average of 1,437 new infections are reported each year. In 2011, 50,287 people were living with HIV and 3,804 among them were children. Out of the total HIV cases reported in 2011, 87.9 percent were transmitted sexually. The number of new cases of HIV infections has been on decline in the last five years, and government figures now estimate HIV prevalence in the adult population to be at 0.3 percent.
Nepal’s first HIV case was reported in 1988. High-risk groups in the country include intravenous drug users, female sex workers and their clients, and migrant laborers.
-Peshawar, Pakistan. The Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court, Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, and other guests attend a forum organized by FATA lawyers pressing for reforms in the troubled tribal areas of Pakistan
Tattoo artists from around the world create and display their designs at the 3rd International Tattoo Convention held between April 26-28 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Although Laos has been a top ranked tourist destination in recent years, the country remains one of the world's poorest nations, and relies heavily on foreign aid and donations. People in Laos continue to struggle with severe poverty, and have extremely low life expectancy despite the country's booming tourism industry.
6th International Hornbill Conference was held in the Philippines for the first time. The conference aims to bring together people studying or interested in hornbills to present and share studies, information and conservation techniques.
Delagates from Asia and Europe participated this conference on hornbill conservation which happens every four years.
It is discussed during the conference that Philippines is home to 16% of world's hornbills. Philippines has the most endemic hornbills in the world but ironically, Philippines has the most number of endangered species of hornbills.
According to Dr. Mundita Lim, Director of Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau in the Philippines, the Philippines spent 10 million pesos every year to rehabilitate and reforest a bald mountain but the government doesn't realize that hornbills play a vital role in propagating seeds and reforesting our forest....
After the conference, exhibit of photos and paintings of hornbills that are endemic to the Philippines are showcased.
Turkey's International Children's Day, April 23, was created in 1927. In addition to local school celebrations, many people pay their respects to the Turkish Republic's founding father, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on this day. Atatürk, who adopted 13 children, stressed the importance of education for future success of the Republic.
Pingelap is a small island in the Pacific Ocean, a part of the Federate States of Micronesia. About 240 people live on this atoll. Ten per cent of them have a genetic form of colour blindness, achromatopsia, meaning their sight is extremely diffused and their eyes very sensitive to light. This disease is locally known as "Maskun", which in Pingelapese language means "to not see".
In his book, The Island of the Colorblind, Oliver Sacks, author and neurologist, describes the life of the inhabitants of Pingelap. His interest is based on the question, if, because of the multitude of people with Maskun in Pingelap, there is an independent culture of colour blind people. This book inspired me to travel to Pingelap and create a photographic series as a study in the perception of people with Maskun. I discovered that in everyday life people with Maskun are hardly distinguishable from those without – only the constant blinking of the eyes in the bright sunshine reveals any difference. With my camera I wanted to somehow visualise how the island was percieved by its inhabitants and come to terms with those who are living with Maskun.
In Turkey, the perceived growing Islamization in the country can be seen even in couture. The economy is booming, making Turkey more wealthy than it has ever been in modern history – and designers in capital Istanbul, are quickly meeting the demand in the market for conservative Islamic consumers’ desire for chic, modest fashion.
But though there is growing demand for conservative attire, this is not the case for the significant secular community, as is reflected in recent protests fiercely opposing what demonstrators believe is a growing imposition of Islamic conservatism by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party. Even President Abdullah Gül’s daughter was widely criticized on social media after wearing a headscarf in her wedding.
Despite the unrest, new companies such as wedding dress designer Filiz Yetim, whose gowns retail at up to 4,000 USD, and chain stores like "Armine" continue to spread across the country, selling every day wear and evening gowns to female shoppers.
The first representative of End of the Weak Uganda, Cyno, joined the annual World Finals in Berlin, which hosted Hip Hop artists from 7 countries. This was his first journey out of Uganda.
Upon winning 100 USD in the MC Challenge, Cyno used the money to buy a goat so that he could share his wealth. He wanted his friends to have a full stomach.
Israeli President Shimon Peres held a diplomatic working meeting on April 22nd with Azerbaijan FM Elmar Mammadyarov to discuss strengthening strategic relations between Azerbaijan and Israel. This is a historical first visit by an Azerbaijan FM in Israel.
PM Peres praised Azerbaijan for playing a key role in countering the influence of neighbouring Iran in the region, stressing that the small Muslim country has taken a “clear stand” against war and terrorism. Calling Azerbaijan’s geographic location “unique,” Peres said Tel Aviv considers Azerbaijan an important ally in the region.
Israel and Azerbaijan's diplomatic relationship began in 1992 when Azerbaijan separated from the communist Soviet Union, and appears to be rapidly building on a number of fronts, and not only because of their similar stances via Iran.
Reuters reports that Azerbaijan's government has signed a $1.6 billion arms trade deal with Israel, and that dozens of Israeli drones were included in the agreement. The international news agency has also reported that Israel is interested in Azerbaijan’s oil reserves.
This strategic meeting comes at a time when tension continues to mount between Israel and Iran over Iran's alleged nuclear program.
Two years ago, the Coastal Lagoon, officially called the Las Piñas Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA), but popularly known as Freedom Island, was covered with garbage and rubbish. Through the efforts of the Wild Birds Club of the Philippines, the Save Freedom Island Movement and various environmental NGO’s have helped clean the coastal bay and as a result, the lagoon is now almost clean.
The clean-up event at Freedom Island on April 20, 2013, is in celebration of Earth Day, which is observed in more than 192 countries every year to promote awareness and appreciation of our environment and to demonstrate support for its protection and restoration.
Freedom Island is the last remaining mangrove frontier in Metro Manila that serves as a sanctuary for avian, terrestrial and marine species. It is home to more than 80 species of migratory and endemic birds, including the already vulnerable Chinese Egret and the Philippine Duck. The mangrove ecosystem also serves as a feeding, nesting and nursery grounds for commercially important fish, prawns, mollusks, crabs and shellfish. By this virtue, it has been declared a critical habitat by Proclamation 1412 in 2007 and has also recently been included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
However, threats against the bird sanctuary’s continue to exist, such as the controversial reclamation project, and continuous dumping of waste and pollution. Thus, more action from the people is needed to protect and restore it.
The coastal clean-up event is not only a campaign to inspire people to clean up their surroundings, but also a show of concern about further environmental depletion. It serves as a call to action to all citizens to take part in saving the environment, as well as a call to the government take action and to stop all disastrous reclamation projects.
After Nicolas Maduro was announced into presidency in Venezuela, presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski talks to the press about the questionable results.
Chavez supporters gather to celebrate Nicolas Maduro's swearing-in at a parade in Caracas.
Venezuelans protest outside Henrique Capriles Radonski´s headquarters in Bello Monte.
Activists burned a Muslim Brotherhood flag in Tallat Harb square along with thousands of protesters in front of the High Court, against Mohammed Morsi and the Brotherhood.
Protesters gathered to demand security and justice in Buenos Aires on Thursday against the government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. The protesters, estimated to have reached nearly a million, are against the president's proposed judicial reform and are calling for another election.
Antigua, Guatemala is known for its vibrant religious festival during Semana Santa (Holy Week), one of the most popular religious celebrations in Latin America. Semana Santa consists of costumed processions, reenactments of the crucifixion, and other events.
Members of the April 6th Youth Activist Movement protest the incarceration of three other activist members in front of the Egyptian high court .
Egyptians clash with the police in Tahrir Square during a protest last February, 2013, throwing stones at the police and dodging tear gas canisters.
There are around sixty pairs of twins living in a small town on Alabat Island. Eudosia and Antonia, who will be turning 82 next year, are the oldest, while the five month-old babies, Jane and Joy, are the youngest pair on the island.
According to the mayor, the population of the island is composed of 4% of twins of the 12,039 residents of their town. When he and his wife migrated to the island in 1980s they were amazed that the island had so many twins. Even the former mayor of the island had a twin brother. Town folks were shocked when they thought they'd seen that the dead mayor brought back to life, but later learnt that the former mayor has a twin brother.
No studies have been conducted on the island to investigate why the number of twins in this small town is growing. According to a study conducted between 1996 to 2006, the Philippine Obstetric and Gynecologic Society found out that there was a 182% increase in multiple pregnancies in 35 year-old women due to the use of fertility drugs. Due to the remoteness of the island and the limited access to fertility drugs, other influences could be considered such as inheritance of twinning or the food intake of mothers.
According to Wikipedia, Yoruba in South Africa has the highest rate of twinning in the world, with 45-50 twin sets (or 90-100 twins) per 1,000 live births, possibly because of high consumption of a specific type of yam containing a natural phytoestrogen which may stimulate the ovaries to release an egg from each side.
The main source of sustenance on the island is farming and fishing. According to the oldest midwife in the island, heredity is the major culprit of twinning in the island, and so far, their island has the highest population of twins in the entire Philippines.
Scenes from the demilitarized border zone between North and South Korea.
Broomcom (Sorghum Vulgare) is a variety of upright grass mostly found in the mountainous area of Manito, Albay. One of the major livelihoods of the people in this isolated area is making soft brooms, which usually sell for 20 to 150 pesos. Manito, Albay is around 15 hours away from Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
Coptic Egyptian Christians living in Athens, Greece protest the recent violence committed against the Coptic community living in Egypt. They staged a play depicting the attacks, followed by a prayer in both Greek and Arabic languages.
Despite the heat, thousands of Venezuelans congregated on Avenida Bolivar in downtown Caracas, to support and see Henrique Capriles Radonski's closing campaign speech.
Facing difficult daily lives, increasing social needs along with a desire to help others by providing care and services, young people are volunteering with the Revolutionary Civic Council in Moaret Mesrin to implement a new campaign called "Beautify Moaret Mesrin."
The "Beautify Moaret Mesrin" campaign is raising awareness among people about the importance of maintaining hygiene in neighborhoods where destruction of city infrastructure has led to an absence of basic services. According to an Idleb Press reporter, quoting a volunteer, "It has to be different leadership or another organized system that takes care of social needs and civic services, instead of government systems."
The campaign will run three days a week and volunteers will help to reduce the prevalence of disease caused by the accumulation of garbage in the streets, broken sewer systems and the spread of insects in the city. Not just cleaning streets and filling holes, the volunteers will also create beauty in paintings and murals, trying to raise the spirits of the Moaret Mesrin community.
Idleb Press, the Media Office and media group of Moaret Mesren
Two months after the death of Ali Abdelhamid Ben Oun, his brother is still waiting to see justice. Ali Abdelhamid Ben Oun survived fighting as a rebel in Libya’s bloody revolution only to be killed in an RPG attack at a checkpoint in February this year.
In Azaz, Syria, hundreds live in UN tents sprawled across a makeshift transition camp. Though the refugees encamped here fled intense shelling in and around Aleppo, the health hazards in their new homes provide a whole new set of dangers.
Asad Hoammed, who previously worked in a weapons manufacturing facility for the Syrian government, and whose sons now fight with the opposition, is waiting in hopes that his wife may receive medical attention. She needs heart surgery, an operation only possible if they are able to cross into Turkey. Unless they are able to make the crossing soon, she will likely die within days.
Dr. Al-Nasr, who works for a group called “Medical Relief for Syria,” acknowledged that the spread of disease and lack of medical care have created a dire situation. “It’s a problem with sanitation, how to dispose of the bathing water and used toilet water,” he said. “There are lakes of waste in some areas.”
Most of the camp’s water and insect-linked health issues, such as diarrhea and scabies, are treatable. But when addressing complex civilian health emergencies, there’s simply no good option in northern Syria.
Bogwa is an ancient ritual in Ifugao, Philippines where natives in Kiangan, Asipulo, Banaue, Lagawe, Hingyon, and Hungduan exhume their death as a form of love and respect to their departed relatives. They feast, celebrate, and offer prayers to the dead for three days.
Although most Ifuagonos have converted to Christianity, they still practice this ritual taboo and incorporate Christian songs and prayers during “Bogwa”.
On the first day of "Bogwa", a Mumbaki (priest) will offer a prayer and a ritual asking the spirits to allow them to open the tomb of the dead.
After opening the tomb, a group of men are now ready to exhume the dead body and clean its 246 bones tediously . The men remove the garments and decaying flesh of the dead with their bare hands.
After cleaning the bones, they bury the decaying flesh near the tomb and sundry the cleaned bones. Next they wrap the skeleton's bones with white cloth and place native Ifugao garments over the white cloth.They will lay the wrapped bones in the favorite area of their beloved where they will pray and sing Christian songs for 3 days.
All people who wish to join the celebration are welcome. The family who is celebrating this unusual day are required to butcher pigs every day to feed all the visitors and on the last day they must also butcher a carabao.
A new coffin is made for the wrapped bones.
Before returning the dead to his tomb, a closing prayer and ritual is done and family members are asked to throw stones inside the tomb and make wishes to the spirits of their departed loved ones.
Daily life is a matter of survival for Syrians still living in Aleppo as they seek shelter and resources in the midst of extreme crisis.
A military helicopter crashed in the capitol Tunis, near the military airport Aouina, caused by a technical problem. The staff onboard included five Tunisian officers and are all safe.
Occupy Baluwtar, a campaign protesting violence against women, completed 100 days on April 6, 2013.
On 28 December 2012 the campaign began, seeking justice for Sita Rai, a migrant worker who was robbed by officials at TIA and raped by a policeman, according to media reports.
Every day from 9 am to 11 am, a group of people join the protest in front of the prime minister’s office in Baluwatar.
They have been protesting against the alleged murder of Saraswati Subedi, the disappearance of Chorimaiya Maharjan, and killings of Shiva Hasmi and Bindu Thakur.
In the last ten years, increasing numbers of indigenous woman have taken to wrestling in the outskirts of La Paz, fighting back against the dominant culture of machismo and discrimination.
Yolanda La Amarosa flies through the air in a swirl of gold lamé and petticoats, her calves clamped around the throat of her unfortunate opponent. He spins across the ring to land in a sprawl on the canvas, hand pressed against his lower back, face set in a grimace of agony. Quieres mas, cabron? Yolanda cries as she strides over and kicks him in the back of the head. There’s a ripple of applause and laughter from her fellow wrestlers, who are hanging on the ropes, waiting their turn to practice the same sequence.
The ring is set up in a junkyard on the outskirts of El Alto, a sprawling migrant city that was once just a suburb of La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. The wrestlers are training on torn mattresses atop wooden planks. It’s late afternoon and the sun dips quickly behind the peaks of the altiplano. At well over 4000 metres, the air is thin and freezing. As the session ends, Yolanda puts her bowler hat on at a jaunty angle, sits on a pile of bricks and asks me, que quieres saber…?
Yolanda Veraluz was one of the first cholita luchadores in Bolivia. Like almost all her fellow female wrestlers, she’s indigenous Aymara – a descendant of the Tiahuanaco culture that predated the Inca. Women started wrestling in Bolivia in the nineties, going head to head with the men. In a country where machismo is almost a reflex, the cholita luchadores have become a symbol of female empowerment – a fact of which Yolanda is all too aware. “We’ve shown that women don’t have to accept discrimination and humiliation… that a woman can speak with the same voice as the man. She has the same rights as her husband – to study, to work, to get ahead.”
Once derogatory, the chola moniker has become a source of pride. In October 2011, many of the top cholita wrestlers broke away from the main wrestling organization, Titanes del Ring, which was dominated by one man, Juan Mamani. Disillusioned with Mamani’s autocratic approach, they set up an independent association and are going it alone. "Juan Mamani stole our money," says Yolanda. "But we realized that we don't need him. We can do this ourselves."
Populist president Evo Morales has been a vocal champion of Bolivia's predominantly poor indigenous population - in particular its women. In 2010, he put together a cabinet that was evenly split between genders and which included three indigenous women. There are now signs of an emerging indigenous middle class in the capital La Paz. “Five years ago, we were looked down upon – we used to just wait on the rich,” Yolanda tells me. “But now, thanks to our President, we’re working in banks, in offices and even in government.”
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Dancing children, newlyweds and the North Korean military.
The 2012 Eurovision Song Contest was held in Azerbaijan. Often called the land of fire, it put on a massive and spectacular show, however the festivities were tainted by the country's poor human rights record and its harsh crackdown on peaceful protesters.
The country’s opposition used the opportunity to draw attention to the state's undemocratic practices, despite the government’s attempts to present itself otherwise.
Peaceful protesters were arrested for participating in a rally on the lavish boulevard along Baku’s harbor front. Secret police walk among protesters and singled out those chanting slogans. Many were taken away in police cars or piled into buses and taken to a police station.
The protest was organized by critics of the current regime, and was held to capture the attention of foreign media. According to Amnesty International, protesters are often arrested, registered and jailed indefinitely. Organizing a protest is punishable by imprisonment, and the regime often charges citizens with hooliganism, or forcibly drafts them into the military if they suspected of activism. There are also reports of alleged torture of incarcerated people, and targeting of independent journalists.
The prevalence of HIV/AIDS among ethnic Papuans is almost twice as high as among the Indonesian newcomers . Contrary to the rest of Indonesia where the epidemic is mainly concentrated among high risk groups such as injection drug users and sex workers, in Papua, transmission is almost entirely through heterosexual relations (97,1%) and has very much spread to the low-risk population. Indonesian health officials often blame cultural sex practices such as 'wife swapping' for the rapid spread of HIV in Papua, but transmigration and large resource extraction projects have fed the sex industry, which has also been a major driver of the spread of the disease.
The World Heritage site Bouddhanath Stupa was lit blue to celebrate World Autism Awareness day and also to raise awareness on the condition of autistic children in Nepal.
The gold diggers wash the soil during the day and all night hoping to reveal the precious metal. The majority of prospectors arrive illegally from neighboring countries like Zimbabwe. The gold nuggets, belonging to the state, end up in the hands of Nigerian, Somalian, Zimbabwean, Israeli and Lebanese merchants. The state is left with the ground and rivers where the water is no longer suitable for drinking and the ground infertile. The rivers become heavily polluted from mercury used to extract the gold, poisoning aquatic life in the river and posing a serious health risks for the gold diggers.
"Although Syria is considered their birthplace, Armenia is their ancestral homeland; they can live here as Armenians," Armenian Ministry of Diaspora chief of staff for Syrian issues, Mr Zakarian Findus said, referring to the Syrian-Armenian community. He puts the current figure of Syrian-Armenians in Armenia at around 6,500, down from an original figure of more than 11,000 that arrived in August 2012, when violence began in Aleppo, Syria, home to the majority of the Armenian community in the country.
Although Armenia is providing a safe home for thousands fleeing violence in Syria, the country faces many economic problems at present, and many Syrians left Aleppo without much money, possessions, and their livelihood. The community has been an accepted part of Aleppo, and Syrian society, but with war continuing to destroy the country, some Armenians see the fighters becoming increasingly sectarian, and worry that minorities may face violence if and when the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad falls.
For now, the Syrian-Armenian community are establishing themselves in Armenia, establishing restaurants, working, waiting, and trying to keep a low-profile.
Children have been taken into schools, and one school has been established for those who wish to follow the Syrian curriculum in Arabic, the Cilician school, in central Yerevan.
The future remains uncertain for Syria's minorities, and many Armenians from the country and applying for passports incase they can't easily return, or want to apply for visas outside the region. Celebrating Easter around six months after the first migration from Aleppo arrived, the community is experiencing life in what dub, their 'second home'.
Praying and chanting in procession for Holy Week 2013 - Paraty, Brazil.
Brazil has the largest Catholic population in the world. Holy Week, Semana Santa in Portuguese, is observed throughout the country with processions and rituals similar to those of other Catholic countries, yet made unique by their specific context.
Repository of produced material
On a single day, 41 000 pilgrims are expected at the Shrine of Aparecida. On Friday morning, the Way of the Cross celebration at the National Shrine was marked by messages of faith and love for Christ. Hundreds of faithful followers came to spend the most important week of the Christian calendar in the House of Mother Aparecida, in order to collectively remember and relive the death and rising of Jesus Christ.
Chinese company relocating Peruvian town
Residents of Morococha, a mining town in the Peruvian Andes, are in for a big change. The century-old village is being relocated to make way for a massive open-pit copper mine being developed by Chinalco, a Chinese-owned company. Named Project Toromocho, the mine, is expected to yield 865,000 tones of copper concentrate per year by 2015. Most of it will be shipped to China, one of the world’s largest commercial buyers.
In an effort to make the make the move more equitable, Chinalco has rebuilt an entirely new town for residents about 6 miles away. A 15-minute drive from Morococha, the Chinese-funded rows of empty, identical houses couldn’t be further from the poverty-ridden and derelict town that will soon be demolished. The new town is entirely unused and includes schools, churches, a clinic and playgrounds. Houses are supplied with running water, including showers, toilets and a water purification system, essentials new to many Morococha residents.
Despite the improved conditions in the new town, many residents are less than happy about the upcoming move. Many feel that essential parts of their identity and heritage will be destroyed along with their original homes. Others yet complain that while overall living conditions will be improved in the new town, that may potentially be named ‘Nueva Morococha,’ the size of the new houses themselves, limited to 430 feet, is not sufficient to comfortably fit families.
Mayor Marcial Salomé has gone on a minor building spree in Morococha, in protest of the push to move. He maintains that while he is not entirely against the move, he feels that more should be done to compensate town residents. Among other things, residents want Chinalco to pay the $300 million in exchange for their land. They also want the company to guarantee residents jobs in the new mine.
Mining represents the single biggest sector of Peru’s economy, bringing in millions of dollars a year.
Policeman have lined Morococha streets following brief protests as residents moved out in January, however no violence has broken out in the town since.
Immigrants in Greece celebrate the Nowruz, the Persian New Year, in the Panionios Stadium of Athens
In the north of Kosovo lies a town that is divided by the river Ibar. Serbs call it Kosovska Mitrovica, Kosovo Albanians define the city as Mitrovicë.
Since the beginning of the Kosovo conflict and especially after the Republic of Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008, Mitrovica has been the center of heavy tensions between ethnic- Serbs and ethnic-Albanians. Kosovo Serb officials refused to take orders from the Albanian authorities and started to blockade the Mitrovica bridge over the river Ibar so that a direct crossing from one part of the city to another is quite difficult and insecure for the town’s inhabitants.
Ethnic-Serbs control the north of Kosovska Mitrovica, ethnic-Albanians inhabit the south of Mitrovicë.
Before the Kosovo wars the Roma Mahala in the south part of Mitrovica, was home to more than 8,000 Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (RAE). After the conflict Roma were considered to be collaborators with the Serbian military. Albanians set the Roma Mahala on fire. After every single house was destroyed, the Roma had to flee.
Today the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, EULEX, is operating in the country. About 3,200 police and judicial officials are under the organization’s control. The EULEX mandate has been extended until 2014.
There is still no official data of how many people suffer from autism in Nepal. The government hasn’t done any research on the number of people it affects, nor do they collect any information from doctors. Unfortunately the number of autistic children is increasing day by day.
Of Nepal’s 30 million population, a rough estimate shows that 300,000 people are living with autism and an estimate of 60,000 - 90,000 with severe autism spectrum
What autistic children need is therapy and treatment. Therapy can help them to feel and understand and respond better. Various treatment therapies such as art therapy, music therapy and occupational therapy helps autistic children to feel better.
In this video Kedar Ghandari, a music therapist talks about how he is using music therapy to help autistic children in Nepal.
Holi, the Hindu festival of color, is being celebrated across the country. The Hindu community celebrates Holi in their neighborhoods, smearing colored powders and throwing water balloons at one another on this colorful and joyful event.
HIV/AIDS in the highlands of Indonesia Papua
The fact that HIV infection is higher among ethnic Papuans is representative of greater socio-economic inequalities. Much remains to be done to reach the United Nations Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS and the Millennium Development goals. In Papua, the severity of the situation has been completely underestimated by the authorities and so far, their response to the epidemic has been severely inadequate. In order to decrease dissatisfaction with their rule, a general attitude of the Indonesian government has been to provide local governments in Papua with large amounts of money. It is then assigned to various programs without proper preliminary research and subsequent monitoring. The actual causes of the problem however, are rarely tackled. The poor standards or complete lack of health services and education throughout the region not only facilitate the spread of the disease, they also severely impede any efficient response to the epidemic. Indeed, although the provincial governments have made HIV testing and treatment free, many Papuans do not have access to health care or education and are unlikely to be reached by awareness raising campaigns any time soon. In the meantime, the virus continues its deadly advance into the highlands.
The late Hugo Chavez (2 February 1999 – 5 March 2013) was criticized by some for allegedly spending exorbitant amounts of money for initiating the construction of the mausoleum to house Simon Bolivar's remains. Others are proud that Venezuela has the honor to host the bones of the "The Liberator” in a guarded sarcophagus located in the city of Caracas.
Gabtoli is a small domestic port in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Here, raw construction materials for both industrial and residential developments comes from different parts of Bangladesh. Among the raw materials are coal, stones, bricks, sand and metal. Approximately 20,000 workers labor in the port day and night, mostly originating from rural areas of Bangladesh leaving their families behind. They earn less then $4 a day to maintain their family and are literally deprived of health, education and other basic facilities.
On May 16, 2012 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a slum caught fire and destroyed 200 homes mainly belonging to poor people.
The guard changing ceremony was performed at the mausoleum and the officials laid wreaths on Jinnah’s grave. Representatives of all three armed forces and a large number of citizens were also present at the mausoleum, March 23, 2013
Photo by Yasir Kazmi, Karachi, Pakistan
Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf returned home on Sunday after more than four years in self-imposed exile. He addresses workers of his APML party at the airport
Photo by Yasir Kazmi, Karachi, Pakistan
A concert of traditional Kurdish music is held at a festival for Nowroz, an ancient holiday celebrating the astronomical Northward equinox and the beginning of spring, as well as the start of the new calendar year in the Persian system. Nowroz is celebrated by millions of Kurds, Afghans, Tajiks and Iranians in the Middle East and Central Asia by wearing colorful clothing and jumping over fires to welcome the spring holiday. Originally a Zoroastrian festival, Nowroz is now embraced by the Kurds to celebrate cultural unity and political goals. The celebrations are occasionally marred by violence as the celebration only recently became legal in Turkey
Demonstrators gather to protest the Obama's visit to Ramallah, in the West Bank.
Holy Week commemorates the passion of Jesus, his death and resurrection, and is the important part of the Christian year. The celebration runs from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. During these eight days all regular activities come to a stop and people devote themselves to staging the drama of Christ in a variety of physical interpretations based on the social gatherings and places around the Antioquia. The most unique of the celebrations is in Santa Fe de Antioquia. It's a small colonial city, rich in history and traditions. It still preserves the religious rites brought by the people of Andalucia and Extremadura in Spain who colonized the area. There are various processions during the Holy Week where the participants wear Sevillan costumes. The tradition of participating in Holy Week processions passes from father to son and some families have been doing it for many generations.
My photo story portrays cross dressers and transgender women that engage in sex work in Yerevan, Armenia — the most vulnerable and at-risk group in Armenia. The subjects in my photographs are predominantly young adults who have been cast off from society, who cannot find another job because of their appearance. Many of them have had a difficult childhood; they were sexually assaulted at a young age, grew up in orphanages, lived in socially insecure situations or under the care of a single parent. Being deprived of family, education and employment, many of them chose the easiest though most dangerous way to make money. Many transgender sex workers dream of having another job, a house, a family. Sometimes they organize private transgender social gatherings, where they party and dance until dawn. Transgender sex workers mainly live apart from their families, renting alone, or with a few people (in the same apartment).
The Saharawi have been in exile since 1974, which makes it the second longest refugee situation in the world after Palestine. Western Sahara camps are well established camps which feature services such as schools, public transport systems, vehicle re-cycling and health care facilities.
Refugees and camps in the initial stages of development, construction and without basic infrastructure.
Poverty plagues the indigenous in Guatemala surviving in poor living conditions. Many live in one-room homes made with cane, mud, and tin sheeting with mud floor and many lack access to clean water, sanitation facilities, kitchens or furniture.
The indigenous village of San Antonio Palopó in Guatemala sits on the steep banks of Lake Atitlan, the nation’s popular tourist destination located 40 miles east of Guatemala City. The United Nations reports that 80% of the indigenous population in Guatemala are living in poverty, compared to 40% of the non-indigenous population in the nation.
San Antonio Palopó was one of the villages hit hardest by tropical storm Agatha in 2010. The village suffered from a huge landslide that swept away 25 homes, killed 15 people and destroyed the water systems. Many who lost their homes returned to the same land, but remain insecure from potential storms and landslides; many families could not afford to relocate to a safer location.
Brazil's hydroelectric dams, which generate 67% of the country's power, has seen water levels dip to near critical levels. According to the latest data from Brazil's national grid operator (ONS), hydroelectric reservoirs in the heavily populated south-east and centre-west, which provide energy for the country's industrial hub, are operating at about 30% capacity. Dry weather has hurt crops and animal carcasses lie abandoned in some areas that have seen almost no rain in the past two years. The drought has also wiped off some 30 percent of sugar cane production in the region responsible for 10 percent of Brazil's cane output.
Families and children survive in harsh conditions in Azaz Refugee Camp. As refugee numbers increase, conditions deteriorate. With 35% of Syria's population under the age of 14, what happens to them now will determine Syria's future.
Designers, Models, Make-Up Artists & Spectators Gather For Tuvanam Fashion Show At Istanbul's Fashion Week 2013.
MSF Reconstructive surgical project started in August of 2006 joins three surgical specialties: maxillofacial, orthopedic and plastic, and receives highly complex cases. Over 1700 victims of violence from Iraq, Gaza, Yemen, Libya and Syria have been admitted to MSF surgical project since its start. Admitted patients are those who were directly affected by violence in their home countries, like gunshot, missile and explosion related injuries. The possibility of getting a successful surgical and functional outcome is an essential standard for accepting cases.
The complexity of received cases often requires a multi-staged reconstruction of both hard and soft tissues. This means patients need to stay for a relatively long period of time close to the MSF surgical facility in Amman for monitoring the progress of treatment and for optimal planning of the stages of treatment. This reconstructive surgical project is a highly demanding one at technical level, and requires a skilled surgical, anesthetic and nursing team.
Bangladesh’s garment industry, responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports, employs an estimated two to three million people, 80% of which are women, in over 4,000 factories all over the country. Although violating national law, some suppliers still employ children under the age of 14. Workers, reliant on their wages to support their families, are highly underpaid; most people earn approximately 1,500-2,000 Taka (15 - 20 Euros) per month while working 12 hour days, 6 days a week.
March 11, 2013, memorial services were held for the two-year anniversary of 3.11 across northern Japan. Two years after 3.11, some things have changed but many problems remain in disaster areas. Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that caused an serious accident is still in hazardous condition. People who used to live in No-Go-Zone have not been able to go back to their hometowns. The decontamination plan for a huge contaminated area by radiation is late. Also, home rebuilding efforts are slow. However, in such severe situation, the people do not forget to pray for the victims of 3.11.
Luweero, Uganda - March 10, 2013
Involvement in the promotion of better health is central in the development of Uganda as a better nation. This includes clean hospitals and health centers, schools, wells and effective community outreach programs in which people receive free medication, health services and mosquito nets. But even with the strong government efforts in reducing mortality rates, the situation is still serious and dangerous in some areas of Uganda. Children are at especially high risk of vector borne diseases including malaria, as well as water-borne diseases including bacterial diarrhea. Maternal mortality is high in Uganda, and pregnancy is still the leading cause of death for young women ages 15 through 19.
Tens of thousands took to the streets of Taipei in an anti-nuclear protest. Timed to coincide with the second anniversary of Japan's Fukushima disaster, the rally called for a halt to the fourth nuclear plant currently under construction, as well as the shutdown of the three operating plants. The rally came just days after the government announced that a referendum would be held over halting construction on the fourth power plant.
On the 16th of March 1988, an Iraqi military strike hit the Kurdish town of Halabja with the greatest attack of chemical weapons ever used against a civilian population. The weapons used were a "cocktail" of mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX. These chemicals drenched the skin and clothes of the targeted people, affected their respiratory tracts and eyes and contaminated their water and food. The entire city carries this legacy on its shoulders.
Mushers and their dogs race in the international middle distance sled dog race through snow Russian woods.
March 6, 2013
Residents of Maharlika village, the largest Muslim settlement in Manila, hold a prayer vigil and light torches to ask for peace among Malaysia's military and Filipino Raja Muda Agbimudin Kiram's group in Sabah, Malaysia. Kiram and some 200 followers, with a handful of armed men and women, made their way to Sabah to settle a centuries-long dispute over the ownership of this part of Malaysia, which led to a heavy military assault by Malaysian forces claiming dozens of lives.
"Saisei" means to come to life again and to recover through time. In Japan, the annual number of suicides has exceeded 30,000. By prefecture, Tokyo had the most suicides, at 3,100. Furthermore, the annual number of people who attempted suicide is said to be the 10 times. This serious number can clearly represent the tough and difficult social life of Japan. However, this ridiculous number does not appeal any individuals’ struggles behind their real dramas. I am following two parsons who attempted suicide to tell their stories through their cases and look at the meaning of living in this society.
" I still wonder why I am alive here."
Taka Fukushima, 43 years old who quietly decided to kill himself three years ago because he had been suffered from depression and asthma due to stress of work for long time. Then, he hung himself with a thick rope which he had for his hobby, canoeing. As soon as he was found by his grand-father in his room, he was sent to the emergency hospital with his heart stopped beating. The doctor said he would be left with a severe after effect, although he might come arrive. After two weeks, everyone thought it was a miracle when he opened his eyes again and he even did not show much permanent damage. He spent a month in the hospital and took a break for a year. Luckily enough, he has found himself a job in the design industry and decided to return to the society. However, he said that it is not so easy to live again in this society for him because Japanese society tends to not accept people who dropped out even once. Now he is working hard without telling anyone his past of attempting suicide. He said, "I do my best a little more as it is. I feel that I was saved by invisible some kind of will, so I must live".
"I was saved by my child."
Emi Asai, 35 years old has been suffering from depression and panic disorder which caused by a stress of work when she was 21 years old. One day five years ago, she made up in a face neatly and changed into a dress she loved and wrote a will at her room, then she intended to die and took medicine more than 300 tablets. Fortunately, she was found by her husband and was done gastric irrigation immediately at a hospital and escaped death. One year after she leaving a hospital, she became pregnant and a baby has made her get hope to live again. She said, "I still has been suffering from mental disorder and sometime I can not control myself. If I has not been given a child, I would commit suicide again. As far as there is my child, I must live for her". Now she helps her husband's company and studies to get a license of psychology counselor.
In 2012, the number of suicide fell below 30,000 for the first time in 15 years. However it is still high number throughout the world. There are about 300,000 people who attempted suicide in Japan and they are struggling to live like them I have covered.
Hip Hop is a global phenomena that reaches nearly all corners of the Earth. Starting in the projects of NYC nearly 40 years ago, struggling youth from Mongolia to Rwanda use music as a weapon to express their situations, hopes, and dreams. Though Hip Hop culture is new to Uganda, it is becoming popular with people of all ages, but with the youth in particular. Hip Hop music is reaching the smallest of villages, as I witnessed in the war-torn area of Gulu. Access to music is free, which is an essential aspect of why Hip Hop is spreading like wildfire.
In 2009, End of the Weak (EOW), a collaboration of MCs, graffiti artists, break dancers and DJs that spans 17 countries, reached Uganda. All chapters of EOW are involved with community outreach, workshops for youth and exude positive influence in their communities through Hip Hop culture. The MC Challenge is a competition wherein the winners gather at the World Finals, which are held in a different country each year. The MC Challenge is held in the central, eastern, western and northern regions of Uganda so that many different languages are represented in the competition. Winners of the MC Challenge are provided studio time, video production and photo shoots as a way to share and promote their music.
Here are a few faces of EOW UG, the next generation of Hip Hop in East Africa.
Acid throwing is a form of violent assault that scar survivors physically, physical disabilities, emotionally, and socially stigmatic. Prevalent motivations behind attacks include hate and jealousy, family dispute, however identifying motivation and gathering
information on incidents remain challenging as many cases remain unreported and many victims are afraid to talk about attacks. In Cambodia, where acid can be easily available and inexpensive, acid is used as weapon to settle disputes.
Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity (CASC) is the only organization to provide survivors free shelter, medical and psychological care and legal supports in Guatemala.
According to CASC, 257 accidents and 306 victims are recorded since 1985. Among them approximately 52 % are female and 48% are males. Twenty six incidents and 40 survivors were documented in 2010, 17 incidents and 25 survivors in 2011. In 2012, 8 incidents and 9 survivors are recorded by the month of August. CASC, however, claims many more cases remain unreported.
In February 2010, the Royal Government of Cambodia formally acknowledged acid violence as a national issue. On Nov. 4 2011, Cambodian National Assembly passed a long-waited acid violence legislation that penalizes perpetrators and regulates the sale of acid.
Kalibo Mandigo - Etaeto - Democratic Republic of Congo - September 10th, 2012
The hunt for precious coltan is killing Africa's dwindling Pygmy population. The village of Kalibo Mandigo, located in the Ituri rain forest in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, lies in the heart of an obscure war zone that few in the West know about. The densely forested expanse along a stretch of border between the nation once known as Zaire and Uganda, furnishes some 80 percent of planet's Columbite Tantalite, or "coltan," an ore that is an essential ingredient in the creation of the miniature Tantalum capacitors present in virtually all electronic devices, including laptops, cell phones and pagers.
Professor Rula Quawas speaks in one of her lectures on March 4, 2013
Voters line up at polling stations and cast their votes to elect Kenya's upcoming president in general elections on the morning of March 4, 2013.
Child victims of Agent Orange suffer from mental and physical deformities and disabilities at the Peace Village Ward in the Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Dioxin, the active ingredient in Agent Orange is one of the most toxic compounds known to humans and was used by the US military during the Vietnam War. Children born to parents exposed to the deadly toxin suffer from an number of birth defects, though many don't make it. Fetuses on display show the stillborn victims.
Cord supporters at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi during the last day of campaigns ahead of the March 4th General Elections.
Tear gas disrupted Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's visit to the West Bank Village of Bil'in Friday, March 1, 2013 as Israeli security forces and Palestinians clashed during a protest marking eight years of struggle against the security fence that crosses through the village. Protesters launched stones at the Israeli security forces who fired tear gas in retaliation.
The procession in Bil'in, located west of Ramallah, was also attended by senior Palestinian officials, including Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Ziad Abu Ein, Chairman of the Palestinian Prisoners Club Kadoura Fares, the governor of Ramallah governor members of the Palestinian parliament.
With a throng of supporters scrambling to get near the ex-president, Wednesday’s large-scale gathering was reminiscent of 2011, when in the midst of Yemen’s Youth Revolution, rival Friday demonstrations were held in Sana’a on a weekly basis: one for Saleh and the other for the pro-democracy protesters who sought an end to his 33-year-long presidency.
The Purim Parade in Holon draws participants from all over the country to dress-up, dance, sing, and perform in the streets.
Dozens of coffee buyers from around the world visit Musasa Coffee Cooperative in Rwanda, hoping to source the next best brew.
Read the article for more information: http://transterramedia.com/media/15897
Jonathan Kalan, Rwanda.
Dissident Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez was interrupted by protests at the launch of her book in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Demonstrators shouted slogans at the 37 year-old who has constantly criticized Cuba's communist system in her blog 'Generation Y'.
Sicily is well known for its religious celebrations, one of the most famous is called "I Misteri”, it happens in Trapani during the Easter holy week and it represents “The passion of Christ”.
Trapani oversees the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, its strategic port was the entrance of different dominations: Arabs, Spanish, Normans, Aragoneses, French, Spanish and finally the Bourbons.
It’s known that the Spanish domination and the frequent relations with others Italian port cities brought in Sicily this traditional ceremony, which in the Iberian land was named "teatro de los misterios".
The first ceremony in Trapani dated back to the XVI century and was firstly named “Casazze”, actors and religious personalities originally represented the first ceremonies, although after many centuries, inanimate statues replaced them.
The Misteri symbolize the "Via Crucis" and are the creation of masters craftsmen from Trapani who built initially 18 sculptures with cypress wood, canvas and glue. In the XIX century were added others two representations "Jesus died in the urn" and "Lady of sorrows".
These astonishing sculptures are preserved in the Church of Purgatory in the centre of Trapani and they are constantly restructured and managed by many groups that represent different working class like, fishermen, goldsmiths, barbers, butchers, painters, shoemakers etc...
At 2.00 pm of each Good Friday’s, "I Misteri" leave the Church of Purgatory and starts the procession that will lasts for 24 hours. The members of the groups carry on their shoulders the heavy weight of "I Misteri", followed by the suggestive rhythm of funeral march played by the local folkloristic bands, passing through the narrow streets of the old town center crossing the obscurity of the night and the first lights of the sunrise.
Despite many changes happened during 500 years of history, The Procession of "I Misteri" hasn't lost the spiritual power and the deep attachment to the city, but it is carefully hand down from generations to generations.
Red Crescent workers and police respond to a military airplane crash in Sana'a Yemen.
Rio de Janeiro - The Carioca call it “Perimetral”, the long viaduct built in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, along the banks of the beautiful Guanabara bay, one of the most famous of the world. The Pharaonic perimetral - built during the years of the Brazilian military regime - will be demolished in 2014 to restore the old relationship between the old docklands area with rest of the city and the Atlantic, Ocean, from where conquerors, millions of slaves and immigrants arrived .
"Porto Maravilha" is the name given to a large redeveloped plan conducted by the Prefecture of Rio de Janeiro and the Federal Brazilian Government together with a consortium of private companies to realize a revolution in the ancient urban "barrios" of the city that will host the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics games in 2016. In the area of five million square meters of the Old Rio de Janeiro, they will build tunnels, avenues, squares, museums, corporate headquarters and futuristic buildings, such as the Museum of Tomorrow, designed by Santiago Calatrava, the Spanish architect. The splendid museum will be erected on the old pear Maua across the bay, where a cluster of skyscrapers marks the point where Rio de Janeiro was born, but also where the financial and economic Rio.'s heart beats. The luxurious and modern skyline of the tropical city is surrounded by the rests of an old forgotten town survived until today just because two large avenues, the President Vargas and the Brazil one were isolated from the rest of the city and the wealthy bourgeoisie, which had moved to the South area of Rio, in the quarters of Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, and Barra. In the docklands area the Entrepreneur Donald Trump will build new skyscrapers and the Microsoft company will open its headquarters in Latin America next to the new building of the Central Bank of Brazil. The population in the forgotten neighborhoods of Santo Cristo, Gamboa, Morro da Conceição and Providencia, where the Heart of the ancient African diaspora beats, will suffer a shot in their pure traditional Brazilian culture . Here millions of slaves from Africa landed and samba was born. An historical place, genuine, made of old stories of sailors, slaves, emigrants, travelers and prostitutes. A cultural cosmos probably destined to disappear with the achievement of the Porto Maravilha project. According to the prefecture of Rio de Janeiro, the population of the docklands area will reach 120 000 inhabitants in the next years, today in the same area live less than 11 000. Porto Maravilha is the largest urban redevelopment present in the world today. Five million square meters belonging to the historic districts of the city could fall to urban speculation that could excrete the old inhabitants living in the docklands area. The demolition of "Perimetral" is also a symbol of the cultural challenge that could provoke the urban revolution of the Porto Maravilha project. When the last stretch of the gray snake made by concrete and steel will fall, the old docks in Art Nouveau style, squares, alleys, colonial fortresses, but also the inhabitants of the old districts present in the dockland will have no more barriers to separate them from the ocean, the harbor, where they were born and let them grow up.
In this photograph taken in September 2011 shows 1,075-kilogramme (2,370-pound) saltwater crocodile at the conservation park in Bunawan, Philippines on February 12, 2013. The 21-foot (6.4-metre) monster, died on February 10, 2012, is suspected of eating a local man who went missing in July 2011 and of killing a 12-year-old girl whose head was bitten off in 2009, was caught in a remote southern creek on September 3, 2011.
COA VALLEY, Portugal -- 18 January 2013 -- WHOEVER carved the graceful figures into the rocks of this valley on the upper reaches of the River Douro had no camera, pencils or paper. Though recent discoveries by Portuguese archaeologists have confirmed that the Palaeolithic Sapiens Sapiens that inhabited the Coa Valley 30,000 to 10,000 years ago were among the first humans to invent animation.
Using a quartzite tool, they carved thousands of depictions of animals, some of which - like the Przewalski's horse at the site on the upper part of the Coa Valley at Penascosa - show a clear understanding of movement depicted in animation, archaeologists here say.
"We cannot prove what the carvings were intended to do exactly...But if you consider cinema, then it is like two or three frames a second," says Antonio Batarda, an archaeologist who specializes in the animated figures of the Coa Valley Archaeological Park.
"What they are doing with these figures, when you analyse it...Is cinema," says Luis Miguel de Silva Simoes Luis (Luis Luis), another archaeologist at the Coa Valley Archaeological Park Museum.
"They break down movement and recompose it...What you then see is a goat or horse moving it's legs or head," he explains.
One sheltered site still shows the remains of ocre-painted figures, which are mostly of large herbivores such as the Aurochs - a bovine species about three times the size of the bulls and cows we see today. Other rock panels at the various sites here depict classic species of the Pleistiocene like the large deer Megalocerus, the Ibex, Aurochsen, horses and various species of goat - to name but a few. Rare human figures are also depicted. The tradition of carving on the rock panels here continued through the Neolithic and right up until recent centuries with Christian motiffs.
Back in the Palaeolithic, the Coa Valley - which still has a unique micro-climate - would have provided an easy environment for the small groups of Sapiens Sapiens living a nomadic hunter-gather existence. Outside of the valley, large predatory species like lions were common and the River Coa provided a certain security and was abundant in game.
Strangely, many of the figures carved onto the rocks beside the River Coa depict animals which would have been a significant challenge for Palaeoloithic man to hunt.
"Hunting was important...But it was mostly entertainment, as it was mostly the animal behaviour which seemed to have interested them," Antonio Batarda says, adding that it is impossible to prove what the animated figures (or the non-animated ones) were actually used for.
It is likely, he says, that the animations were indeed just that, using fire and screens in co-ordinated movement to create the illusion of movement, rather like the special effects on the stage of a late Victorian theatre. Animals were of great importance to Palaeolithic man and were likely to have been a form of entertainment in themselves, Batarda adds.
There are around one hundred panels depicting animated movement. Sometimes it is subtle, such as a horse flicking it's ears or a goat sticking out it's tongue. Others are more complex and show a horse moving it's head or a goat involved in a mating display.
Not all the archaeologists here are certain about the sites being an ancient cinema, but all agree that the carvings are definately animations.
"I compare it with comic books...I think it may be pushing it a bit to say it was cinema. Though it was the first time we know that animation was used," says Antonio Martinho Baptista, the Director of the Coa Valley Archaeological Park.
Mr Martinho Baptista says that the Palaeolithic humans who inhabited the Coa Valley were nomadic and wandered around in small groups of 30-50 individuals over a radius of around 90 miles and were probably around a thousand or so in number.
The site was discovered in the mid 1990s during archaeological surveys to construct a hydro-electric dam. It soon became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and thus far, archaeologists have found around 100 outdoor rock carvings which show some form of animation.
"I believe it had a function...This was public art," says Martinho Baptista. He says that as it was public - it was probable that the carvings were used for story telling and education. Religion may have also played a part, the figures show many pregnant animals, possibly signifying some kind of reverence for the creation of new life.
This makes sites of outdoor Upper Palaeolithic art like the Coa Valley very important in our understanding of our ancient ancestors, he adds. While the Lascaux cave paintings are famous, Mr Martinho Baptista believes cave art was rare and that much of the art of the Upper Palaolithic was outdoors carved on rocks like in the Coa Valley.
"Why did we find the art at Lascaux? Because they were protected. Nowadays, we think that the open air Palaeolithic art was much more common...Though much of it has been destroyed by wind and rain...Probably cave art in this time was exceptional," says Luis.
One of the more tender carvings depicts a moment of affection between two horses, a favourite of the museum's director. For Martinho Baptista, this is a prime example of the keen eye of Palaeolithic man. "It's a masterful work...It was made 20,000 years ago...But could be shown in a gallery by a modern artist today," he says.
Whatever the actual true use of these rock carving animations was, it is clear that these recent discoveries by Portuguese archaeologists in the Coa Valley render the popular image of prehistoric man quite obsolete. "Palaeolithic man was an artist just like some contemporary ones," Martinho Bapista says. -ends- approx 700 words
Supporters of Nepal's opposition parties take part in a mass rally organized in Kathmandu on Feb. 8, 2013. Opposition parties organized a mass meeting to bring down the UCPN(M) led government.
"Toloo Institute" in Persian means "The Rise Of The Anonymous" is the name of a charity organization. Every week its members salute the homeless people of south Tehran with warm home made meals, chat with them and introduce them to this institution. People who suffer from addiction are treated in the rehabilitation centers with the institute's sponsorship and for the ones that have nowhere to live, they provide shelter. Some of those who take part in these events were once suffering from the same complications however, they have now overcome those hardships with the aid of this institution and are now trying to help in kind.
Some, though not all, of Iran's homeless are addicted to hashish which they smoke in water pipes (nargileh). The homeless are supported by an organization that is also made up of young men and women that cook for them and then distribute the food. They offer advice and counseling to the drug addicts.
Thousands gather outside the Grand Husseini Mosque in Amman, Jordan for a pro-government reform rally on October 5, 2012. The event was sponsored and organized by the Muslim Brotherhood.
On Tuesday 5 February, the tribunal set up to try those involved in crimes during Bangladesh's 1971 liberation war found a leader of the country's main Islamist party guilty of crimes against humanity. Abdul Qader Mullah, the assistant secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami, was sentenced to life in prison.
The verdict sparked protests across the country, both from supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami and from those who think that the sentence was too mild.
In Dhaka, a big group of people gathered at the Shahbag intersection right outside Dhaka University, protesting against the ruling. With banners, caricatures and chants, they demanded death sentence for Abdul Qader Mullah.
Wild and enchanting beauty awaits every mountaineer who will trek the off-beaten track of Mt. Napulak, Iloilo's highest peak with 1,200 feet above sea level.
From Iloilo City, around eighty mountaineers around the Philippines travelled two hours to Igbaras, Iloilo the jump-off area to climb one of the hardest trail in Panay Islands to participate the annual climb to the unique peak of Napulak. This climb is organized yearly before the famous Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City.
The assault to Mt. Napulak starts with trekking the scenic rice fields and residential areas. Different agricultural crops also are seen along the way forming a magnificent view of terraces. Farm animals such as pigs and chickens are seen outside households.
After passing the residential area, the ascend became more difficult yet the scenery is relaxing. Sunflowers in bloom and the negative ions of the forested area soothes the eye and tired muscles of every wanderers ascending gradually at the treacherous and off-beaten track. And seing one of the largest parasitic flower called rafflesia are also seen along the trail of the majestic forest of Napulak. Rafflesia are only founf in Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines.
After passing the forested area, the grasslands of the slopes of Mt. Napulak is another tiring but breathtaking scenery. Gradual assault and traversing the tall grasses and steep trail is another challenge but the stunning view of clouds covering each mountain is magical.
Reaching the summit is the most intriguing part of the climb, a huge rock formation which looks like a nipple of a woman's breast from a far is one of the most exciting part of the climb where every mountaineers are required to rock climb in order for them to say that they conquered the 'nipple's top'.
Yes, Napulak in local dialect means 'nipple's top'!
The summit gives a 360 degrees view of Panay Islands and other mountains of the province.
The climb is organized by mountaineering groups The Friends of the Higher Grounds and Talahib Eco-Trekkers which aims to battle climate change.
The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Gen. Aronda Nyakairima warned politicians not to take the country back to the past era of political turmoil.
Gen. Aronda's comments follow a recent statement by the Defense minister Dr. Crispus Kiyonga who cautioned MPs to desist from conduct that undermines the public confidence in the legislature and can cause the army to intervene and take over government.
Dr Kiyonga was speaking in reaction to the rowdy scenes that engulfed Parliament during the debate of the recently passed Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill, 2012 when MPs became rowdy during the vote on a clause that gives powers to the oil minister over the petroleum authority.
The comments by Dr. Kiyonga have since generated a public debate over the matter.
Launching the Armed Forces Week at the Ministry of Defense headquarters in Mbuya, Gen. Aronda delivered a cautious statement after being asked by journalists to comment on Minister Kiyonga's statement.
"I can tell you that no orders have been issued. We are going about our usual business of guarding the country. But I think that the message was well-taken by those to whom it was intended. Stand warned," said Gen. Aronda Nyakairima.
"Stand advised that should you not change course, other things will take place. Let no one return us to the past. We experienced a quarter century of turmoil and we cannot afford to take the country back," added Aronda.
Present at the press conference were members of Parliament from the West Nile region. The Armed Forces Week will culminate into the celebration of Tarehe Sita day on February 6.
Leprosy has been for many centuries, in Ethiopia, a sickness with enormous social implications. The physical consequences of catching such an illness has forced many infected by the disease into a solitary life or, at best, into leper’s colonies through out the country. With medicinal progress and campaigns to explain to locals that leprosy is not contagious amongst humans, some understanding of the illness has made headway in the country.
Such a change can be seen in the capital where an entire hospital was built, mostly with European money, to deal with this lingering sickness. The Alert hospital, as locals commonly name it, specializes in skin illnesses, and mostly with leprosy. Situated in the heart of a leper colony in Southern Addis Ababa where thousands of lepers live and raise their families. It treats thousands of people each year, locals often coming from far away in remote areas to get treatment. The hallways are usually loaded with dozens of families from the countryside, bringing sick family members, often after a long and tenuous travel. They wait for a day or two sometimes to see a specialized doctor. For the really ones, rooms are available almost free of cost, as foreign money keeps the institution afloat. The doctors, cladded in white are always available separating lepers from infectious diseases, putting the most sick in specially equipped rooms, which usually contains 6 to 8 beds. Operations, like amputation, a rather common affair, in the world of leprosy are always done inside the hospital by specially trained surgeon. The presence of the Alert hospital in the slum has changed the life of many lepers in Ethiopia, but foremost has saved thousands of lives living inside this ghetto where local official rarely venture. Constant danger, rampant poverty, and no sanitation has left thousands living inside this slum stranded outside Ethiopian society with no hope to climb the social ladder. The slum was created, like so many before it, to forget the leprosy problem, seen as an evil due to its quite graphic nature, scaring for life the unfortunates who contract the sickness. Inside the slum, women with leprosy cover themselves with a white sheet as to be recognized, covering their faces to stop starring or fear from healthy Ethiopians. But not all is bleak. A group of women with leprosy have gotten together to fight their condition. They created a small business where a dozen or so of these women knit and put together traditional garments and bed sheets. Using their bare hands and ancients machinery, these women have managed to organize a small business where they can earn a small salary from their sales. Kelebe, 60 years old, is one of these women. She arrived in the slum from the Northern part of the country to start over and perhaps find a better life after her husband died. She brought with her, her children, cousins, and other relatives, to increase their chances of survival. Once there, she was quickly reminded that her condition would not make things life easy for her and her family. She managed to find a shack made out of mud with metal roofing, and dirt floors. She, however did not give up, and joined these businesswomen. The fruit of her work has helped her to feed herself as well as her family members. In fact it has allowed her to prosper, buy new clothes and give some schooling to the youngest in her family. With an ongoing fix price of 50$ for the most expensive bedding, the little company has been able to sustain itself for a few years now, feeding a dozen family. However, this small grouping seem to be the exception to the rule. Most lepers in the slum keep starving; their offspring have no more future than their parents did before them, and the government seems uninterested in helping this portion of the population.
Leprosy has been identified as a major health problem in Ethiopia since the 1950's, when the effort to control leprosy began by the establishment of a National leprosy office in the Ministry of Health with the support of German Leprosy Relief Association (GLRA). There are three main regions where Leprosy is still endemic, that is Oromiya, Amhara and SNNPRG in the Central and South Eastern highlands.
Following the introduction of MDT and the consequent reduction in the duration of treatment, there resulted a constant and steady decline in the prevalence of leprosy. Due to the reduction in number of patients registered, which has also reduced the workload of leprosy services, they have integrated the leprosy program within the general health services. The integration services covers a wider geographical area and is closer to the community. This integration is believed to reduce the stigma associated with leprosy and they think may have an impact on the epidemiology.
Today however lepers are rarely included in society. In Northern Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, thousands of lepers lives in poverty with their families, excluded from Ethiopian society. Their plight is nothing new in this poor East African country. Since the 19th century Western travelers or scientists have described the harsh living conditions of these outcast carrying, as thought back then, a very contagious sickness. About three thousand live in this northern slum, trying to survive by begging on the streets of the capital, or near the only church of the area. Such a woman, Kelbe Adamu, 60 years old, left her small village hoping to find better understanding of her countrymen in the capital. She was quickly disappointed, as her life did not improve. However with time she was able to find a small job sewing traditional Ethiopian clothes and bed sheets with other women lepers, making a small living, enough to feed herself and her grandchildren born in the slum.
But not all is bleak. A group of women with leprosy have gotten together to fight their condition. They created a small business where a dozen or so of these women knit and put together traditional garments and bed sheets. Using their bare hands and ancients machinery, these women have managed to organize a small business where they can earn a small salary from their sales. Kelebe, 60 years old, is one of these women. She arrived in the slum from the Northern part of the country to start over and perhaps find a better life after her husband died. She brought with her, her children, cousins, and other relatives, to increase their chances of survival. Once there, she was quickly reminded that her condition would not make things life easy for her and her family. She managed to find a shack made out of mud with metal roofing, and dirt floors. She, however did not give up, and joined these businesswomen. The fruit of her work has helped her to feed herself as well as her family members. In fact it has allowed her to prosper, buy new close and give some schooling to the youngest in her family.
With an ongoing fix price of 50$ for the most expensive bedding, the little company has been able to sustain itself for a few years now, feeding a dozen family. However this small grouping seem to be the exception to the rule. Most lepers in the slum keep starving; their offspring have no more future than their parents did before them, and the government seems uninterested in helping this portion of the population.
Thousands gathered on and around the 6th of October Bridge near the state TV building Maspero as protesters battled police, blocking off roads, burning tires, throwing rocks and firebombs.
Protesters also blocked Qasr al-Aini street into Tahrir, throwing rocks at police. The police stayed a good distance away, sitting in chairs letting them throw rocks and occasionally firing teargas from this direction while the main fighting went on the street perpendicular to it.
School for Refugees
The majority of the more than 150,000 Syrians who have fled to Turkey are children. Although many are sheltering in Turkey's state run refugee camps, a countless number are living under the radar, in the border cities like Antakya. For those Syrian children, many of whom have been traumatized by their experiences of the war, Turkey does not and cannot provide public education.
“Some children have been out of school for almost one or two years," according to Ted Chaiban, UNICEF’s head of emergency operations.
The privately-funded Albashayer School in Antakya was founded 18 month ago to address the needs of Antakya's Syrian children.
In the beginning, the school provided education in Arabic for just 16 Syrian children. In three months, the number had quadrupled, according to the school principal, Sally Albunni, herself a refugee from Hama. Now over 500 students flood through the front gates every morning, and numbers are increasing.
"Every day we have new students," says Albunni. The school just opened a new branch, so now it occupies two full apartment buildings. Total number of students served is currently over 800. Students arrive in two shifts, in order to accommodate as many as possible. Others are on a waiting list. In addition to learning math, science, arabic, Turkish and art, a school psychologist helps them work through difficult emotions. Needy children receive new clothes that have been donated.
According to UNICEF, half of the 4 million affected Syrians are children living in the worst conditions and suffering from the psycho-social effects of the violence they witness on a daily basis.
At the Albashayer School, signs of trauma are everywhere, from the playground, where children participate in violent play, to the art room, where student's drawings depict tanks, blood, soldiers and guns.
But after a few weeks, Albunni says she sees improvement. The children are very resilient, and happy to be in school.
"We want to remove everything about the war," says the principal.
"We want to see them happy and playing normally."
Scenic images from Across Lebanon
Their vividly colored indigenous clothing shout like a blast of dynamite ripping through the mountains they call home. It is Tuesday and they are standing in a busy avenue in the upscale business district of Makati.
"This is where the mining companies are, and if they cannot hear our pleas and screams while they kill us in the mountains, we will come here and ask them to stop," comes the cry from the Lumad in their native language, their heads held high as they gaze at the row of high-rise office buildings.
They own the mountains, but they say the mining companies have taken their land away from them. They are the indigenous caretakers of ancestral domains passed on to them from generation to generation, the Lumad who are proud of their heritage that has defied centuries of colonization.
But here in this posh Makati street, where most foreign mining companies are located, they are greeted with raised eyebrows and crinkled noses.
Marginalized and exploited, the Lumads take the insults in stride, having endured attacks against them and their land – all in the name of “development.” Bebeth Kalinawan, a Mamanwa from Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte, recalls her ordeal as she fought for her life after getting hit by bullets from government troops at the family farm. Because of heavy militarization, her entire community took shelter in evacuation shelters for months. They found their homes, properties, and even their church burned down upon their return. From the perspective of these indigenous peoples, large-scale corporate mining does not contribute anything good to their communities. Bae Likayan Bigkay, a 67-year-old Ata-Manobo from Bukidnon, laments all the pain and suffering that mining companies have brought upon them as she joins her fellow lumad in exploring the busy metropolis far from their home. She says the Lumad painstakingly take care of their resource-rich lands, but these continue to be systematically taken away from them. Their way of life has drastically changed, and those who oppose the mining operations are either pushed away from their land or get killed. Mining, and the logging operations that often precede it, have also intensified floods that cause death and devastation. The natural protection provided by the environment is getting destroyed at an alarming rate, and the Lumads are often the most affected upland dwellers. " We are not animals. We are not pigs and chickens that you can just shoot," says Bae Emil Digkalay-oban from the Banwaon tribe, as she talks about the plight of her community in Agusan del Sur. There is an estimated 14-17 million Indigenous Peoples (IPs) belonging to 110 ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippines and they remain among the poorest and most disadvantaged and regularly face systemic discrimination and exclusion.
A recent report by the United Nations Development Fund states that in the Philippines, the Lumads have been subject to historical discrimination and marginalization from political processes and economic benefit. They often face exclusion, loss of ancestral lands, displacement, pressures to and destruction of traditional ways of life and practices, and loss of identity and culture, and conflicts. From economic development to environmental protection to justice, human rights, and good governance, the protections and participation promised to the Lumads needs to be mainstreamed through all relevant decision-making bodies and stakeholder organizations.
After 14 years of dormancy after it was filed in 1999, and in between the convolution of debates on whether to pass it as a law or not, the Reproductive Health Law was finally enacted and signed by the Philippines President Simeon Benigno Aquino III.
The law, that would give funding for the distribution of free contraceptives, requiring government hospitals to provide reproductive health services, and mandating public schools to teach sex education, was met with strong opposition from the influential Catholic church in the only nation in Southeast Asia where the majority of its population are Catholics.
The issue of the country's population, which is attributed by the law's authors and supporters to the rising poverty level in contrast to the church's moral discourse on abortion and contraception has been one of the widely debated aspect
The Philippines is a country of 94 million people, where almost a third of the population live below the poverty line. With the majority of Filipinos still face rising commodity prices, record joblessness, low wages, and ever growing poverty, and with a lack of vital national industries, a declining agricultural output, and continued dependence on labor export and remittances, the question of wether this law can suffice to the plight of the everyday Filipino still remains.
Lunik IX is an apartment complex in the southwestern suburbs of Košice, Slovakia. Originally build as home for middle-class families with a capacity of 2,500 people, the Slovakian government started to resettled thousands of Slovakian people affiliated to the Roma minority in the 1990s. Today Lunik IX is home to an estimated number of between 6,000 and 8,000 Roma making it the largest Roma community within Slovakia.
Over the years Lunik IX evolved into an urban slum. The unemployment rate is nearly 100%, inhabitants aren’t able to pay their water, gas or electricity bills. The waste disposal isn’t working, inhabitants constantly throw their trash right out of the window. Everything that isn’t nailed down has been stolen and resold. Several buildings are in an unacceptable condition. Between summer 2012 and winter 2012/2013 one complex was at the risk to collaps and had to be dismantled. The toxic standard of the waste disposal has reached a dangerous high level even starting to harm the town’s ground water. Only during certain hours a day people are supplied with freshwater.
The children from Lunik IX are the first who suffer from these horrible conditions. Lunik IX is overcrowded, more and more flats become uninhabitable, winters are long and cold. Open fires inside the flats, rat plagues, diseases, malnutrition and worse hygiene standards are among the fatal threats threatening the children in Lunik IX.
A public run kindergarten is trying to take care of at least some of the kids for several hours a day. Kids at the age of 5 and 6 as well as their siblings, regardless their age, are allowed to visit the kindergarten. Some of the Roma women even have the possibility to work in the kindergarten.
2013 Košice is Europe's culture capital. After I travelled to Košice I learned that the majority of people living in the city have never been to Lunik IX themselves. The area is a taboo-subject, something people don’t want to talk about. Officials feel helpless and left alone with the situation by the government in Bratislava and the European Union.
Refugee camp of Azaz, Syrian border.
Refugees from Halep and surrounding areas have lost their houses under the bombings. They left Halep with just the clothes they had at the time. They have no documents, no money, no belongings. The refugees believed the could cross the Turkish border to escape the massacres, but after a limited number of refugees were accepted by the Turkish government who settled in the nearby camp of Kilis, the border was closed. They had to settle in the camp right on the Syrian border, waiting for a move that does not arrive.
Turkey cannot take more refugees and cannot do more than what actually it does. The refugees must stay were they are, with no home in Syria anymore, no passport to leave the country, as if convicted to stay in the camp.
The excess number refugees not accepted into Turkey settled in September 2012 under big hangars once used by Syrian customs police for storing and checking goods before letting them pass the border. For months the refugees had to sleep right on the pavement, under hangars, under trucks or any other shelter available. No heating, no running water, no latrines, no roof above their heads.
Tents arrived just at around the middle of November 2012, donated by the Red Crescent of Qatar. Since that, three hangars were filled with tents, then other tents were placed on open ground. In December 2012, the number of refugees at the Azaz camp reached about 7000.
Life at the camp is hard. Volunteers from various ONG such as IHH provide meals every day. Supplies come from world wide relief organizations and volunteer donations, but they are not enough to meet the needs of so many. Tents are not waterproof. The pavement is constantly wet when the rain falls, especially hard for those ones settled on open ground. No electricity is supplied. Water is scarce and is brought in big containers for those who need it most. Heating becomes a real issue with the oncoming winter. Kids are sent to the surrounding fields to gather any burning material, but they cannot go too far since the mine fields protecting the no-man’s land are right at border line next to the camp. Refugees burn dry grass. At dusk, they must make return to their tents, because all around there is no light to even walk. They rest by candlelight in their tents until they fall asleep.
Recently a protest calling for better conditions at the camp was held at the border (see other reportage “Syria - protest in the camp of Azaz”, © Michele Pero) to get attention from the Turkish Governor of the area, with no results. These people must stay here. No place where to go, no place to return to. Convicted, forgotten. No one knows for how long.
Downtown Halep, quarters of Bustan al-Pasha and Sakhour, December 2012.
The town is partially controlled by the brigades of the Free Syria Army. Snipers, hidden in isolated buildings, necessitate a fast crossing through the large and open avenues. Some people try to continue their normal life downtown, still living in their houses, even if the majority have left for the refugee camps at the borders of the country.
MIGs and helicopters of the Bashar Al Assad regime are continuously releasing rockets and barrel-bombs over the buildings. A quick look at the sky, some strikes, the blast and gray smoke lifts not too far from where we are. Another building hit, some people wounded and injured will be soon added to the list.
Daily life in Halep is pretty scary. The regime is now releasing big barrels filled with explosives. They release these bombs over the town, anywhere they like. No targets are aimed. They throw them here and there. No one is safe in any shelter. Shelters actually don’t work. Halep is a very ancient town and buildings are very weak. In spite of that, some citizens are still keeping their homes there, still trying to lead a normal life, together with the rebels of the Free Syria Army which fight on two front lines: one against the regular forces of the regime, one other against the Kurdish minority which supports the regime. In the middle, the citizens of Halep, try to survive in a ghost town, partially destroyed, under the daily bombings of such madness.
Displaced Syrians brace for winter’s onslaught.
There are nearly two million internally displaced people who are stuck inside Syria with no place to go. Cold and afraid, most say they want desperately want to cross into Turkey. But Turkey has refused to accept them citing overcrowding. Qah camp is inside Syria close to the Turkish border. It was founded three months ago and is now has 520 tents. More families arrive every day, many from Hass—a town 85 kilometers southwest of Aleppo. The population, mainly women, children and the elderly, has swelled to 3600 since it was established three months ago.
About 450,000 Syrians live in camps in neighboring countries including over 137,000 in Turkey. But for an estimated two million internally displaced people remain in Syria, in danger and living in very difficult conditions.
Two new refugee camps are being constructed in Turkey, ostensibly to accommodate those stuck at the border. But for the people whose homes have been destroyed, family members killed, villages abandoned, it’s a race against time, weather and war.
Just two weeks ago regime forces dropped bombs nearby, creating a panic as people ran desperately for the Turkish border. No deaths were reported, but the situation remains tense. “Six missiles hit this village and [nearby] Atmeh,” reported Hassan, 35, a former police officer who has joined the FSA and lives with his family in the camp.
Since winter began more than a month ago, the region has experienced many days of torrential rains. Water leaks into the tents, wetting blankets, mattresses and rugs. At night, temperatures sometimes drop below freezing. “From inside the tents, you can hear the children crying,” says Mustafa, a 22 year-old former chef and military sergeant who fled with nine members of his family.
A doctor working with Medicins du Monde who preferred not to be identified said that he has seen many cases of respiratory problems and say that about 30% of the camp’s residents suffer from diarrhea as a result of unclean drinking water. Hepatitis A is also spreading rapidly at the camp. And it’s only December—the toughest winter months are still ahead.
The new kids on the block
The emergence of the Sunni extremists groups in Lebanon
Photo-reportage by Randa Mirza
In October 2011, I started covering the Syrian revolution and the repercussions for Lebanon; the “Arab spring” had finally reached Syria. Throughout the year, I found myself increasingly reporting on Lebanese Sunni extremists groups, which used to play a very marginal role in the political life of Lebanon prior to the Syrian uprising.
The emergence of the Sunni extremists in Lebanon was first catalyzed by the “Arab Spring” that led to the fall of dictators and authoritarian regimes; traditionally oppressive against Muslim extremists, and lately from the conflict in Syria.
The Syrian conflict is reinforced by the wide spectrum of Lebanese Sunni groups, and principally by the most extreme ones, in their struggle for political gains in Lebanon.
The Lebanese Sunni extremists do not share the same position towards the Syrian uprising. However, a majority endorses the Syrian people’s fight for freedom against the secular, non-Sunni dictator. Hezbollah is perceived as a foe since the Shia party has pledged allegiance to the Syrian Alawite regime increasing the split between the Sunni and Shia communities in Lebanon.
Written by Lara Setrakian:
Patrick Hilsman has a light on in Syria’s internet blackout. The 29-year-old New York native landed in Aleppo on Thursday morning to report on the conflict from the rebel-held section of the city, one of the city’s hardest hit neighborhoods.
“Shells have been going off all around us today. A school nearby was struck by rockets off a MiG jet overhead,” said Hilsman, speaking on Skype from a safehouse Aleppo.
But while he was online, reporting on the escalation in regime strikes, Syria’s internet blackout was taking hold across the rest of the country. Syria cut off access to internet service, isolating the country from the worldwide web. Internet traffic in and out of Syria dropped to zero, shortly after 12 noon local time. Web-monitoring service Akamai confirmed. “Syria is effectively off the internet.”
Hilsman stayed online through a satellite internet connection, using equipment brought in from Turkey, paid for by a French supporter of the Free Syrian Army.
The internet shutdown is an unprecedented move in Syria, the latest salvo in the cyber war between rebel force and the government of President Bashar al Assad.
“The regime has tried everything else…they have been increasing surveillance, increasing censorship. That’s why there’s this feel that this is a sign they’re getting desperate,” said Jillian York, an internet freedom expert at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
With Thursday’s internet blackout, information from Syria has slowed to a trickle. Syrian cyber activist Dlshad Othman estimates that less than one thousand people were online on Thursday in Syria, out of a population of 20 million.
That left journalists unable to report on the escalation in fighting.
“It’s a very serious problem. Journalists who don’t have this uplink are completely blacked out,” said Hilsman. As the blackout took effect, shelling intensified in Aleppo, which mirrored heavy fighting in other parts of the country.
The US government condemned Syria’s internet shutdown and said it is supporting the opposition with communication gear.
"They are all designed to be independent from and able to circumvent the Syrian domestic network precisely for the reason of keeping them safe, keeping them secure from regime tampering, from regime listening, from regime interruption," said State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Othman, the cyber activist, says there aren’t enough of those kits in Syria to keep a significant number of people online. Plus, he says there are safety risks in using them to stay online.
“We’ve asked people to turn off their satellite connections,” said Othman.
“The regime may be scanning for those connections, so we’ve asked people to turn off their satellite connections to stay safe.”
Thousands tried to cross through Qalandia checkpoint from the West Bank into Jerusalem Friday, using a once-a-year opportunity afforded to many to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan. The checkpoint is run and staffed by the IDF, and while regulations were somewhat more relaxed this year, men under 40 are not permitted to cross to pray in Jerusalem unless they have a pre-existing East Jerusalem ID card.
Lebanese PM Najib Mikati held an urgent meeting with Lebanese Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour and the Lebanese Displaced Minister Alaeddine Terro on Thursday, July 19 where they discussed the arrival of Syrian refugees into Lebanon for the first time legally via the Masnaa border area. Most are arriving from the Syrian capital of Damascus due to the recent bombing happening in there.
Abu Faour told reporters in a press conference after the meeting that around 8,500 Syrian refugees entered Lebanon on Thursday due to the violent events in Syria.
SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – Lebanon’s Social Affairs Minister, Wael Abu Faour:
“8500 Syrians fled to Lebanon. Of course this is due to the recent events happened at Damascus and fearful people. There are large numbers of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the number is increasing. The Lebanese state needs to fulfill its duties. The Social Affairs Ministry’s team has arrived at the borders in addition to the Higher Relief Commission for Refugees and a number of international organizations who give assistance on this issue.” He added that since Wednesday 4,500 cars passed through the border crossing, adding that 250 vehicles came from Syria to Lebanon.
The number of Syrian refugees escaping to Lebanon increased in light of the recent bombing in Damascus that claimed the lives of three top security officials.
Abu Faour stressed that Mikati has given instructions to the Higher Relief Commission to carry out its work to help the displaced.
Abu Faour said Lebanese public schools will open to house the thousands of Syrian refugees streaming into Lebanon to escape the violent crackdown of the regime against protestors and civilians.
According to the latest weekly report released by the Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), there are now 30,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, of whom 26,905 are registered to receive regular services from the UNHCR and other agencies.
The UN estimates that more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria and tens of thousands displaced since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began 16 months ago.
Local News Agency: Middle East Bureau / VCS
Shooting Dateline: July 20, 2012
Shooting Location: Beirut and “the Masnaa” border area, Lebanon
Publishing Time: July 20, 2012
Video Size: 122 MB
1- Various shots of Lebanese PM Najib Mikati meeting with Lebanon’s Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour and the Lebanese Displaced Minister Alaeddine Terro
2- SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – Lebanon’s Social Affairs Minister, Wael Abu Faour:
“8,500 Syrians fled to Lebanon. Of course this is due to the recent events happened at Damascus and fears of people. There are large numbers of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the number is increasing. The Lebanon state The Lebanese state needs to fulfill its duties. The Social Affairs Ministry’s team has arrived at the borders in addition to the Higher Relief Commission for refugees and a number of international organizations who gives assistance on this issue.” 3- Pan left shot of Faour leaving the press conference amid the presence of reporters
4- Various shots of Syrian refugees at the Masnaa border area in Lebanon
5- Close up shot of a sign of arrival
6- Wide shot of Lebanese border area “the Masnaa”
7- Various shots of cars carrying luggage’s
8- Various shots of Syrian refugees walking around at the Masnaa border area of Lebanon
9- Various shots of Lebanese security man checking the identity papers of Syrian refugees riding cars at the borders area of the Masnaa
10- Various shots of cars carrying luggage’s and walking
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi received on Wednesday, July 18, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo in their first meeting since Morsi became President.
“We started our talks with His Excellency by congratulating him for being elected as President of Egypt, wishing him all success,” Abbas told reporters in a press conference after the meeting. The two leaders held talks on various Palestinian issues including the Middle East peace process and the developments of the political process between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:
“We affirmed to him that now all doors are closed with regards to the political process (with Israel) and that we have only side communications, but the general relations and the like are still there between us and the Israeli side; we don’t want to cut them off or change them.” They also discussed the issue of inter-Palestinian reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, which is sponsored by Egypt.
Abbas told reporters that there was delay from Hamas side with regards to holding the agreed-upon elections.
Hamas officials point fingers back at Fatah and say that they suspended preparing for the elections due to the recent arrest of Hamas figures by Fatah in the West Bank.
SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:
“We affirmed to His Excellency President that reconciliation for us means holding the elections. Until now, we don’t know the reasons that made Hamas delay registering the voters in the Gaza Strip, whose number is 300,000.” Abbas said that he did not ask Morsi to pressure Hamas to go on implementing the reconciliation agreement reached in Cairo.
The talks between Morsi and Abbas dealt with the financial crisis the Palestinian Authority is going through; Abbas said that Saudi Arabia provided the biggest assistance in this regard.
“Lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip is a national demand and we all have to work on achieving it,” Abbas said.
Local News Agency: Middle East Bureau / VCS
Shooting Dateline: July 18, 2012
Shooting Location: Cairo, Egypt
Publishing Time: July 18, 2012
Video Size: 105 MB
1- Pan left, external shot of the Presidency headquarters in Cairo
2- Various shots of the meeting of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
3- Medium shot, cameramen preparing their cameras to shoot
4- Zoom in, Abbas entering to start the press conference
5- Medium shot, reporters taking notes during the press conference
6- SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:
“We affirmed to him that now all doors are closed with regards to the political process (with Israel) and that we have only side communications, but the general relations and the like are still there between us and the Israeli side; we don’t want to cut them off or change them.” 7- Various shots of Abbas speaking in the press conference
8- Close up, logo of Egyptian Presidency
9- Wide shot, Abbas listening to the question of one of the reporters
10- SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:
“We affirmed to His Excellency President that reconciliation for us means holding the elections. Until now, we don’t know the reasons that made Hamas delay registering the voters in the Gaza Strip, whose number is 300,000.” 11- Medium shot, cameraman shooting
12- Various shots of Abbas speaking in the press conference
13- Zoom out/pan right, Abbas concluding the press conference and leaving
14- Wide shot, the conference hall and attendees leaving
Members of Egypt’s Constitutional Writing Panel tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution held a press conference on Monday, July 16, at the Shura Council headquarters where they stressed that the panel respect the rulings of the judiciary and the rule of law as the court is set to rule on appeals challenging the legitimacy of the panel on July 17.
The panel spokesman Dr Wahid Abdel Meged affirmed that the panel has a neutral position from all the country’s institutions.
SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – The Constitution panel spokesman Dr. Wahid Abdel Meged:
“We agreed during this meeting to wait the court session tomorrow. The Constitution Writing Panel stands at the same distance from all the institutions of the country. We respect the judiciary and we don’t want to anticipate the procedures of the court that it will take tomorrow and its decisions whether it will issue a rule or delay it.”
They highlighted that the panel is not a part in the conflict between the state authorities and is very keen to respect the court rulings.
Members of the assembly affirmed earlier that the constitution panel would continue its mission by drafting a constitution and submitting it to the Egyptian people, because it is a national duty.
On the other hand, all the members of the Shura Council (Egypt’s upper house of the parliament) on the constitution panel resigned from the panel on Sunday, the Middle East News Agency reported.
The MPs said the reason for their resignation was to invalidate the argument of the administrative judiciary on the unconstitutionality of the panel and abort all appeals against it.
Earlier on Sunday, the Presidential office said that President Mohamed Morsi ratified a Law passed on June, 11 by the now-dissolved People's Assembly (Egypt’s lower house of the parliament) to regulate the process of electing members of the constitution writing panel, a law which had been ignored by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
Morsi's ratification of a law setting the criteria for electing members of the Constitution panel has granted it legal immunity.
The court is expected to give its final word over the legality of the panel on Tuesday, July 17.
Local News Agency: Middle East Bureau / VCS
Shooting Dateline: July 16, 2012
Shooting Location: Cairo, Egypt
Publishing Time: July 16, 2012
Video Size: 86.4 MB
1- Medium shot of the logo of the Shura Council (Egypt’s Upper house of the parliament)
2- Medium shot of members of the Constitution Writing Panel
3- Close up shot of head of Ghad al-Thawra Party and member of the Constitution Writing Panel, Ayman Nour speaking during the conference
4- Various shots of the conference
5- SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – The Constitution panel spokesman Dr. Wahid Abdel Meged:
“We agreed during this meeting to wait the court session tomorrow. The Constitution Writing Panel stands at the same distance from all the institutions of the country. We respect the judiciary and we don’t want to anticipate the procedures of the court that it will take tomorrow and its decisions whether it will issue a rule or delay it.” 6- Various shots of the conference and the attendees
7- Various shots of the members of the panel speaking during the conference