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Lebanese for Syrians
Arsal, Lebanon
By Osie Greenway
21 Dec 2013

The town of Arsal is becoming a makeshift refugee camp for Syrians fleeing the fighting in border towns like Kalamoun and Al Qusair that have seen very heavy fighting in the last six months. Aid to these camps in brought in by private charities like Lebanese for Syrians.

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Lebanese for Syrians
Arsal, Lebanon
By Transterra Editor
21 Dec 2013

A small group of Lebanese citizens in Beirut organized a Facebook page to bring awareness to the refugee issues in Lebanon, Lebanese for Syrians. The page became an avenue for Lebanese to donate and volunteer to help with the desperate displaced people in their country. In only a week, the page allowed the civil campaign to raised over $40,000 in donations and implement their first medical aid mission with a volunteer medical team in both the town of Arsal and beyond the Lebanese military borders into “no-mans-land” where displaced Syrians are living in makeshift shelters.

The organizer, Carol Maalouf, was overwhelmed to witness the amount of Lebanese willing to help Syrian refugees. This help is necessary, as the refugees in Arsal are preparing for what is being predicted by many to be one of Lebanon’s worst winters in decades. Thousands of these displaced people live in terrible conditions in a barely habitable area that separates Lebanon from Syria, and is subject to aircraft missile strikes, mortar fire and sporadic border clashes from the Syrian conflict, being fought less then a mile away.

The majority of the refugees in Arsal and surrounding areas are from Qusair and Qulamoun. Both of these towns are major conflict areas with constant clashes between the Syrian Army and the Opposition. The situation for these people is dire and they are in need of medical aid, shelters, food and clothing. The area is mostly populated with women and children without any medical aid or supplies from NGOs that do not enter the region, but rather stop at the last check point of the Lebanese Army. The Lebanese for Syrians initiative is quickly growing in influence with the help of social media and will continue to help and bring awareness to the Lebanese people through their fellow citizens.

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Veterans Protect Protesters in Maidan...
Kyiv, Ukraine
By lordcob
16 Dec 2013

One of the barricades built around Maidan Square. Barricades were reinforced and rebuilt after police forces tried to evacuate the camp in the night between 10th and 11th of December, shortly after the departure of the EU representative Catherine Ashton.

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Nelson Mandela Resonates Throughout A...
South Africa
By Transterra Editor
06 Dec 2013

A photojournalist documents the famous, late, leader, Nelson Mandela and his resonance throughout South Africa, from where he was imprisoned to artwork on city walls. Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013.

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"The Difference Between Lightning and...
Kabul, Afghanistan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
02 Dec 2013

The Disability Situation in Afghanistan

Community Centre for the Disabled (CCD), an Afghan NGO, is a resource centre is one of the leading disability organizations that has been promoting the rights of Persons with Disabilities since 2004. To this end, CCD maintains many activities.

In Afghanistan, 2.7% of the total population have very severe disabilities that call for the implementation of urgent policies and interventions. If other categories are added, this rate increases to well over 15%, as indicated in the 2011 World Health Organization disability report.

Based on the Social Protection Strategy and the National Risks and Vulnerability Assessment, one of the ‘Priorities at Risk Groups’ in Afghanistan is represented by Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). These people continue to undergo hefty challenges; no access to public services, society's negative attitudes, unemployment and physical accessibility are just some of the hardships. To improve this situation, disability needs to be given high priority in all policies of the government, private sector and civil society; and should be monitored for implementation. Providing direct enablement support to PwDs is another priority.

This quotation from Mark Twain, an American author and humorist, refers to the abyss between two different sources of light. The powerful flash of lightning against the faint glow of the firefly.The same analogy can be applied to the very different situations that persons with disabilities face up to in their lifetime and the way they handle them.

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Migrant Workers in Lebanon
Beirut, Lebanon
By Osie Greenway
29 Nov 2013

Jessy, 49, from Cebu, Philippines, stands outside her salon, "Jessy Nails," with her daughter, Nour in Hamra, an area of Lebanon's capital, Beirut. Though she is from the Philippines, she feels that Lebanon is her homeland. She was first a migrant worker in Kuwait in 1999, where she worked as a clerical typist. She came to Lebanon after nine years with her Lebanese husband, whom she met there, and the first of her two children. After working in various salons for 5-6 years in Lebanon, she was able to fulfill her dream of opening up her own place. Since she left Cebu in 1999, she has dreamed of opening up her own salon.

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Syrian Rescue Robot 6
Kilis, Turkey
By Leyland Cecco
29 Nov 2013

Demonstrating a robot, one of the designers concedes that the project has been difficult financially. His wife had to sell their car in order to fund the project, but there is interest from Doctors Without Borders.

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Syrian Rescue Robot 7
Kilis, Turkey
By Leyland Cecco
29 Nov 2013

One of the designers, who asked his face not be shown, demonstrates a small robot meant to carry coffee around the hotel and can be controlled with a remote controlled glove.

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Syrian Rescue Robot 9
Kilis, Turkey
By Leyland Cecco
29 Nov 2013

The builders have been renting out a small warehouse in the auto-repair district of Kilis. After telling the Turkish authorities that they are building a 'chocolate machine', they have worked relatively undisturbed.

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Syrian Rescue Robot 10
Kilis, Turkey
By Leyland Cecco
29 Nov 2013

Using rendering software, the designers have been able to create detailed schematics of the robotic arms.

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Syrian Rescue Robot 5
Kilis, Turkey
By Leyland Cecco
29 Nov 2013

A former hacker shows an animation of the finished product. Still weeks away from completion, the robot would be able to grab injured civilians and pull them inside the body of the bulldozer.

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Syrian Rescue Robot 4
Kilis, Turkey
By Leyland Cecco
29 Nov 2013

The robotic arms will be operated by far away from the scene in order to minimize harm. Pro-regime snipers target civilian with non-lethal shots in order to draw out rescuers to inflict more damage.

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Migrant Workers in Lebanon
Beirut, Lebanon
By Osie Greenway
29 Nov 2013

Rahel Zegeye, 34, is an Ethiopian domestic worker from Faransy by day, and a documentary filmmaker and artist by night. Her first feature film, "Beirut," focused on the plight of domestic workers in Lebanon and took her two years to film in the country. She has recently received funding for a second film, which will also focus on domestic workers. Rahel has been in Lebanon for 13 years, and in that time has become a local leader in the fight for migrant workers' rights.

Photo by Omar Alkalouti
Text by Melissa Tabeek

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Syrian Rescue Robot 3
Kilis, Turkey
By Leyland Cecco
29 Nov 2013

One of the workers holds up a styrofoam model of the robot arms. The aim is to attach the arms to an armoured tank within the next few weeks, for deployment to Syria.

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Syrian Rescue Robot 2
Kilis, Turkey
By Leyland Cecco
28 Nov 2013

A former hacker has teamed up with an engineer to build the robot. Using hired local help, the duo has been working on the project for months.

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Migrant Workers in Lebanon
Beirut, Lebanon
By Osie Greenway
28 Nov 2013

Maimouna, 24, from Cameroon, stands in front of a shop display of domestic worker uniforms in Gemmayze, Beirut, with a friend from Cameroon, also a domestic worker. Her friend had just lost her mother, but was unable to travel because she could not obtain the right documents to travel out of the country. Maimouna was kicked out of her employer's house for refusing to clean multiple family member's houses for the same pay. Her personality is infectious and strong, and she refuses to let people treat her badly. "You do me, I'll do you back," she says with a giggle.

Photo by Omar Alkalouti
Text by Melissa Tabeek

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Migrant Workers in Lebanon
Beirut, Lebanon
By Osie Greenway
27 Nov 2013

Maimouna, 24, is from Cameroon, and has been in Lebanon since October 2010. She had been with her "Madame," for over a year, when she suddenly threw her out because she did not want clean multiple family members' houses for the same pay. Maimouna was forced to leave immediately, and is now staying with a friend from her home country, looking for work. "It's open in this country, but the mentality is bad. It's so difficult," she says. She plans to stay in Lebanon - she came here to work and make money, and that is what she plans to continue to do, at all costs.

Photo by Omar Alkalouti
Text by Melissa Tabeek

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India-- 11 children go missing every ...
New Delhi
By Bijoyeta Das
27 Nov 2013

He almost ran after her. He followed her through the alleys of East Delhi, stopping as she stopped, angling to catch a glimpse of her face. “Maybe it is my lost daughter,” Azhar Mohammad recalls thinking when he saw the teenage girl, her hair braided and two red ribbons tied.
“There is no closure,” he says wiping tears. His daughter has been missing for five years. He remembers every detail of that day when she did not come home from school. The family searched every corner of the government school, hoping she was locked in a toilet. They met all her friends and asked a thousand questions, he says. Mohammad’s oldest son selected the best photograph of Gudiya from their battered family album and made 125 copies.
“The police said she ran away. But where will an 11 year old, cheerful girl go?” he asks, He says his hair grayed in a week, the fateful week when the family spent all their savings to look for Gudiya. No news came that night. Nor later. Even after five years, Mohammad still believes his daughter will come home someday. “Till then all I pray is wherever she is, she should be happy and well taken care of.”
Mohammad is not alone. In India eleven children go missing every hour and seven are never found.
Often children rescued in one state could be missing in another. But there is no centralized database to connect them.

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Syrian Limb Center 1
Reyhanli, Turkey
By Leyland Cecco
26 Nov 2013

A worker and two patients at the clinic pray early in the afternoon.

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Syrian Limb Center 3
Reyhanli, Turkey
By Leyland Cecco
26 Nov 2013

A patient gives feedback to one of the NSPPL's technicians about how the leg fits.

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Syrian Limb Center 7
Reyhanli, Turkey
By Leyland Cecco
26 Nov 2013

A worker clamps down a prothestic limb for further adjustments. The clinic has produced more than 200 legs to date.

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Syrian Limb Center 6
Reyhanli, Turkey
By Leyland Cecco
26 Nov 2013

Raed al-Masri, the limb center's founder, gives advice to an amputee as he uses his new leg for the first time. Al-Masri used to be a math teacher in Syria until he fled to Turkey and now runs the clinic full-time.

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Migrant Workers in Lebanon
Beirut, Lebanon
By Osie Greenway
17 Nov 2013

Every Sunday in Hamra, at AltCity, language classes are held by the Migrant Worker Task Force, an NGO in Lebanon, in three languages: Arabic, English and French. This particular session is English-language, where more than 50 migrant workers from a range of countries come on their day off to learn how to speak, read and write English. The teachers are all volunteers, and even students like Mimi Hussein learn the language well enough to become teachers themselves.

Photo by Omar Alkalouti
Text by Melissa Tabeek

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Riots in Bulgaria(7 of 10)
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Georgi Kozhuharov
11 Nov 2013
    Protesters and police scuffle during a demonstration near the parliament in central Sofia November 12, 2013. Several hundred students and anti-government protesters surrounded the parliament in the Bulgarian capital on Tuesday demanding the resignation of the Socialist-led government.          
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Riots in Bulgaria(10 of 10).
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Georgi Kozhuharov
11 Nov 2013
             Protesters and police scuffle during a demonstration near the parliament in central Sofia November 12, 2013. Several hundred students and anti-government protesters surrounded the parliament in the Bulgarian capital on Tuesday demanding the resignation of the Socialist-led government. 
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"The Difference Between Lightning and...
Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
08 Nov 2013

Fatima, 25 years old, prepares the oven to bake bread for her family and neighbours. Fatima suffered a serious infection in her face when she was nine years old and she lost part of her chin bone. She is paid 10 Afghani for every loaf of bread. Before the infection she worked as a shepherd in the Province of Ghur, her home. People avoid survivors of facial diseases. Nobody wants to speak to them, and they are left isolated. People don’t even want to look at them. When Fatima’s brother got married, he decided to offer Fatima as wife to his future brother-in-law (an Afghan tradition known as Badalì). She is now married with two children.

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"The Difference Between Lightning and...
Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
08 Nov 2013

Sakyna, 18 years old, (left) and Fatima, 22 years old. The girls weave carpets in the village of Aliabad, in Mazar-e-Sharif. Sakyna has cerebral palsy and her left leg is shorter and weaker. Fatima became mute after an infection in her throat. Khawar, 34 years old (not in the photo), trains them how to weave carpets. The project is organized by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA). Sakyna uses orthotics and a walking stick to move around.

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"The Difference Between Lightning and...
Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
08 Nov 2013

Razya, 31 years old, with her daughter Hasina, 3 years old. Here, she is begging in one of the main streets in Mazar-e-Sharif. Since giving birth to her daughter, Razya has not been able to walk. When she became ill she didn’t have enough money to pay a doctor so her health got worse, leaving her almost paralyzed. Her husband sells vegetables in the street but he doesn’t make enough money to support the family.

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"The Difference Between Lightning and...
Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
07 Nov 2013

Bibi Ko, 65 years old. Here she is travelling back home to the Balkh district, 15 km from Mazar-e-Sharif, after spending a day begging around the city. She has been complaining about her left leg. A shrapnel bomb wounded her during the war 17 years ago. She is alone and doesn’t have any support.

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"The Difference Between Lightning and...
Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
06 Nov 2013

Portrait of Shukrya (left) and Nuria at the Afghan Association of the Blind (AAB) in Mazar-e-Sharif. Both sisters are blind and they have been attending the Association for the past four years. So far they have learned to read and write. Before coming they stayed at home on their own without doing anything. “Our lives have changed completely since coming to AAB, we are much happier”, says Nuria.

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"The Difference Between Lightning and...
Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
06 Nov 2013

Hafiza, 60 years old, awaits food distribution. The World Food Program (WFP) supplies food to the Afghan Association of the Blind in Mazar-e-Sharif. Hafiza was wounded in an eye when a rocket landed near her house during the Taliban war. The food is distributed to poor people who are either blind or visually impaired. With winter coming soon, it is very difficult for them to survive.

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"The Difference Between Lightning and...
Bamyan, Afghanistan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
01 Nov 2013

Khulam Ali, 29 years old, landmine survivor and double amputee. Twice a day, Khulam walks 5 km to and from work in the province of Bamyan. He runs a small grocery shop and he manages to make enough for a living. Occasionally he finds people who give him a lift, but most of the time he has to walk. Khulam Ali is having problems with his prostheses and has been trying to get new ones for the past four months.

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"The Difference Between Lightning and...
Bamyan, Afghanistan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
31 Oct 2013

Bamyan cemetery.
Mohammed, 13 years old, prays at the grave of his cousin and best friend Haji Ahmad, 15 years old. Haji was an orphan and a Paraplegic and he lived with his sister. The rest of the family didn’t want to know about him. Before he died, Haji hadn’t been to school for almost a year because his wheelchair was broken. His sister attempted to contact different organizations to get a new wheelchair but she never succeeded. In this period Haji stayed at home and was depressed.

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"The Difference Between Lightning and...
Bamyan, Afghanistan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
31 Oct 2013

Sattar, 15 years old, totally blind. Sattar walks along an abandoned house near his home in the village of Shibarto, in the Bamiyan province. He has never gone to school, he always stays at home and his family has not provided him any form of ID yet. Sometimes families living in remote areas are unaware they can register with the government and receive a small pension for disabled family members.

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"The Difference Between Lightning and...
Bamyan, Afghanistan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
30 Oct 2013

Sayed, 25 years old, is a landmine survivor and double amputee. Here, Sayed is climbing a hill on his way to the grocery shop where he works part-time in the city of Bamyan. During the day he frequents university, where he recently enrolled himself in the faculty of psychology. Twice a day he walks 4.6 km in order to attend the course.

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"The Difference Between Lightning and...
Kabul, Afghanistan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
28 Oct 2013

Safar, 30 years old, in his house in the North of Kabul. Safar has a congenital disease. He generally stays at home on his own without any recreation or stimulation from the outside world. He has been suffering with a sore throat for a long time but the family cannot find a cure. Quite often in Afghanistan, families who have members with a disability prefer not to talk about the person or let them appear in public.

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"The Difference Between Lightning and...
Kabul, Afghanistan
By Giovanni Diffidenti
27 Oct 2013

Mobin, 5 years old. Here he raises his eyes to the ceiling in his house in Kabul, as a typical gesture. Mobin was born with Autism, and doesn’t understand the concept of danger. The family has taken him to see seven specialists, but nothing has changed. They all say that their son can’t be treated in Afghanistan and should be taken abroad. The family is concerned about Mobin’s future because Afghanistan has no educational services for Autism. Mobin is a CCD beneficiary.