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Wherever They Are, We Are
Beirut
By b.yaacoub
19 Jun 2015

The image of the masked protestor, with their fiery eyes and fist in the air is one of the most iconic images in popular culture. This character has become romanticized, demonized, idolized, and oftentimes misunderstood. The upheaval that has taken place around the world, especially in the last four years, has both reinforced and broken this stereotype.

But who are those who take to the streets? Why do they do it? What do they want?

A procession of women in Nigeria, marching together with placards reading “Bring Back Our Girls”, has a considerably different tone than the charged clashes between riot police and anarchists in Greece. A candlelight vigil held by journalists in Lebanon in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo does not have the same risk of deadly violence as villagers and farmers confronting trigger-happy gunmen in Syria. And a group of concerned citizens voicing their discontent with the privatization of a public beach does not have the same high social and political stakes as those trying to overthrow an authoritarian regime.

However, despite vast differences in context and situation, those who take to the streets often share a common drive to stand up for ideas they believe in. For many, there is a common belief that by taking to the streets and making their voices public, they can influence change in their world.

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Colonel Claude Mademba
Nimes
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
08 Apr 2015

Colonel Mademba fought in North Africa and Italy with British and French forces as an infantryman against German forces.

"On May 5th 1945, I fired my last shell from my Sherman tank at Hitler's Berghof complex," he said.

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Lahcen Majid
Saint Remi
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
08 Apr 2015

Lahcen Majid fought as an infantrymen in Italy as part of a Moroccan outfit attached to Free French forces, against the German army.

"On May 11th 1944, right before the last major push for Monte Cassino, I saw the entire countryside light up with an artillery barrage," he said. "By 2:00 a.m. hundreds of Allied soldiers were already arriving at our hospital to be treated."

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Joel D. Pasado
Los Angeles, CA
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
08 Apr 2015

Joel D. Pasado was a rebel fighter in the Philippines against Japanese forces.

"We surrounded the hospital," he said. "The defenders fought hard, as they had to fight room to room throwing grenades and using bayonets. On one occasion I stormed a room filled with Japanese soldiers. One tried to stab me, but was shot by one of my soldiers and was killed. He saved my life."

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Portrait of a Generation: WWII Vetera...
New York City, NY
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
07 Apr 2015

The Second World War was fought by an entire generation of men from more than 60 nations. Americans, Canadians, Russian, British, Chinese, South Africans and many others fought the Japanese, Spaniards, Italians, Germans, Slovaks and more, all were embroiled in a war which killed over 50 millions soldiers and civilians alike, making this conflict the bloodiest in Human history. The 1921/22-generation is today often known as a sacrificed generation, which fought for a various array of beliefs all intertwined in self-sacrifice and honor. In Germany alone 5.2 million soldiers were killed or missing in battle in a six-year period, Japan lost over 2 million men in combat, while the United States suffered 409 thousand men killed in action. However Russia holds the morbid record, with more than 10 million killed between 1941 and 1945. These astounding numbers show the brutality in which this war was fought in the air, on land and in the seas.

As a journalist, always in search for a certain historical truth within today’s framework, the stories of each of these men interviewed and photographed is a treasure of human perseverance. The project contains no pretense to judge or criticize the actions or decisions taken by these men, but it is rather a recollection of a period drastically different from ours. Their testimony is relevant in a historical sense, which should not be lost in time, as the next generations to come can and should learn from this generation.

The project itself differs from other veteran type shoots, in the sense that it tries to combine so many different nationalities. This combination was hard to achieve. It took no less than 5 years and travels to over 12 countries to meet, photograph, and interview these men. As a photojournalist, it was not only the photo shoot that was interesting, but also the search to meet these veterans, especially the ex Waffen SS and the foreign elements who fought within its ranks; and the more obscure nationalities who fought alongside major powers, like Croatians or Senegalese.

The photography project deals with as many nationalities as possible, for the simple reason that many nations were involved in the fighting. So far I have photographed Germans, Russians, Armenians, Karabastis, French, Belgium, Poles, Americans, Nepalese, Croatian, Czechs, Latvians, Japanese Americans, Pilipino, Hungarians and more…, which includes 221 men from 59 different nationalities.  Each man is interviewed on his experience through out the war. The goal of this project is to reunite as many veterans as possible from most of the nations involved in the Second World War.

FULL ARTICLE AND INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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Kurds Mourn the Deaths of British and...
Derik, Syria
By TTM Contributor 33
14 Mar 2015

The body of Ashley Johnson, an Australian fighter in the Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG), was taken from Syria to Turkey at the Derik border crossing. Johnson, who joined the YPG six months ago, was killed on 25 February when the Kurdish militia retook the strategic town of Tal Hamis in northeast Syria from ISIS.

This video shows the procession in which Johnson’s body was taken from Syria to Turkey. It also shows the body of former British Royal Marine and Peshmerga fighter, Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, who died on March 4, being taken from a hospital in the Kurdish city of Derik to Iraqi Kurdistan through the Simalka border crossing. Scurfiled was also killed in the battle to retake Tal Hamis.

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Queen of Controversy: Miss Lebanon 2014
Koura
By Pamela Nabhan
28 Dec 2014

Photo gallery of Sally Greige, Miss Lebanon 2014, who was at the center of an international controversy after allegedly being 'photo-bombed' by Miss Israel at the Miss Universe beuaty pageant in Miami. Lebanon and Israel are technically in a state of war and Lebanese citizens are banned from having contact with Israelis. 

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British Military Trainer Instructs Sh...
Karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
18 Nov 2014

November 18, 2014
Karbala, Iraq

Iraqi British military trainer Shaker al-Saidi instructs volunteers from the Al-Abbas Combat Division, a Shia militia that is fighting alongside the Iraqi Army. The video shows the trainee paratroopers in a training session, in Karbala, prior to their first practice jump from over 3000 feet. The Iraqi army has provided the militia with a helicopter to help in the fight against ISIS. The volunteers have been undergoing intensive training for 14 to 15 hours a day for the last 45 days.

In 1983, Shaker joined the Youth Academy for Paratroopers in Iraq. In 2000 he emigrated with his family to Britain where he continued developing these skills before becoming a trainer and a member of the British Parachute Regiment, the airborne infantry of the British Army. He also trained British forces stationed in the United Arab Emirates and many other Arabic countries.

Transcription:

Saleh, fighter in Al-Abbas Combat Division (man, Arabic):
(0:55-01:19) "We belong to Al-Abbas Combat Division. My fellow fighters and I fight under the flag of the religious leader and today is our first trial jump."

Interviewer: "How many meters are you going to jump?"

Saleh: "3000 feet." (1000 meters)

Shaker al-Saidi, Iraqi British trainer (man, Arabic):
(01:24-02:01) "The purpose of this training is that in the current circumstances we are experiencing the need for paratroopers who can reach areas that are difficult for field fighters or vehicles to access. We might need to use them for special targets in the night time. Those chosen paratroopers can be the beginning of the formation of a parachuting force consisting of over 100 fighters."

Maitham al-Zubaidi, commander of Al-Abbas Combat Division, (man, Arabic):
(03:15-04-11) "This is the first trained group in Al-Abbas Combat Division, trained by the international trainer Shaker al-Saedi. Al-Abbas Combat Division was formed as an answer to the call of the religious leader, and it was included in the Iraqi army and a part of the operations of al-Furat al-Awsat. The purpose of today's jump is to increase the strength and the abilities of the fighters in the group to be able to face the current and upcoming challenges."

Shaker al-Saidi:
(05:42-06-11) "The first jump in the history of "the popular forces" is taken by this hero right here, under the leadership of Al-Abbas Combat Division. History will document this. The first jump in Iraq for military purposes. The first jump and many more to come, striking the heart of the enemy."

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Far Right Rally in UK
Birmingham, United Kingdom
By hassanghani
20 Jul 2013

The far right 'English Defence League' held a rally in Birmingham, UK, on Saturday, July 20. Approximately two thousand English nationalists converged on the city centre, protesting against 'militant Islam'. Occasional scuffles broke out with the police, as glass bottles, rocks and paving stones were thrown. A smaller 'anti-fascist' counter demonstration was also held nearby. Includes interview with Weyman Bennett, Unite Against Fascism, and voxpop with English Defence League Supporter.

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Sergey Abgorian
Yereven
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
22 Feb 2012

Sergey Abgorian is an Armenian veteran who fought in the Red Army against the Germans on the Russian front during WWII.

"Chechen fighters placed two captured Russian soldiers into a small ravine as a trick and to ambush my rescue party," he said. "As we arrived to save them, the Chechens were waiting for us and started shooting. A bullet went right through my hair, and I felt it."

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Per Mortensen
Copenhagen
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
15 Feb 2012

Per Mortensen fought during WWII in Denmark against the German occupier as part of a partisan outfit.

"In June 1943 my cousin was captured by the Danish police, so a few hours later I decided to join BOPA," he said. "My cousin was put to jail for a while, but because he acted like a crazy person he was sent later to a hospital. In October, I arranged for his escape."

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Agim Karajozi
Flushing, NY
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
14 Feb 2012

Agim Karajozi is a Albanian WWII veteran who fought in his country as part of a partisan outfit against the Italian and German army.

"By the fall 1942, I joined Balli Kombetar brigade," he said. "Some of my family members made me realize what the Communists were really up to in my country, so I decided to fight against them."

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Otar Gogiashvili
Tiblisi
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
13 Feb 2012

Otar Gogiashvili is a WWII veteran from the Republic of Georgia who fought with the Red Army on the Russian front against the German invader.

"For over 12 hours the Germans bombed us with Stukas planes, while we were directing artillery fire at German positions," he said. "After my CO left, a Stuka bomb landed on my position, killing everyone except myself."

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Atsushi Hamato
Tokyo
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
13 Feb 2012

Atsushi Hamato fought in the Japanese Imperial army during WWII against American forces. Hamato fought in the battle of the Philippines as a company commander.

"We fought for honor and our country against the American invaders," he said.

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Hans von Vultejus
Ry
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
13 Feb 2012

Hans von Vultejus fought with the German army in Western Europe against the invading Anglo Saxon armies.

"I was given a Waffen SS uniform," he said. "However, I refused to get my blood type tattooed as was common practice in the SS. While waiting in line, I moved discretely to the already tattooed line so I was never tattooed."

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Israel Barsuk
Brooklyn, NY
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
06 Dec 2010

Israel Barkuk is a Ukrainian WWII veteran who fought in the Red Army against the German army.

"My division was located on a plateau in central Ukraine, which was under German attack," he said. "They were just right below us and around us. A sniper killed my commander, so I was promoted the commanding commissar of a full battalion of 300 men."

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Thomas Louis Gilzean
Edinburgh
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Mar 2010

Thomas Louis Gilzean, a Scottish WWII veterans who fought both in Asia as part of a commando outfit and in Europe against the Germans.

"In Benghazi we lived inside a very nice hotel with my unit," he said. "We fought there until March 1941, when the Germans invaded with Rommel. We soon had to retreat but before we booby-trapped the hotel, and took the fireplace with us. It looked expensive."

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Ante Vukovich
Dubrovnik
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Mar 2010

Ante Vukovich is a Croatian WWII veteran who fought against German forces occupying his country during the Second World War. Ante fought with Communist partisan units as an infantryman.

"During my first firefight I couldn't control my Czech machine gun and almost shot one of my fellow soldiers," he said.

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Bernard du Bois
Vilvoorde
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Mar 2010

Bernard du Bois is a Belgium WWII veteran who fought with the Allies against German troops occupying his country.

"After being wounded by a Stuka attack, I was picked up by Germans who brought me to a German field hospital in Montreuille-sur-mer, where a German army doctor operated on me atop 12 hundred liter barrel of Champagne," he said. "He saved my life."

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Salomon Freidlyand
Brooklyn, NY
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Mar 2010

Salomon Freidlyand is a Byelorussian WWII veteran who fought within the Red Army on the Russian front against the German invader.

"I was sent back to the 297th division to start training partisans and to gather information on the German positions," he said. "I had my own horse, and would often go behind German lines and meet these locals and partisans."

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Thomas Hermann
Sicklerville, NJ
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Mar 2010

Thomas Hermann is a WWII veteran who fought in the German army on the Russian front as an infantryman.

"I took part of a counter-attack in late November 1943," he said. "The entire regiment was send forward. The fighting was hard with many close-quarter battles. Two Russian divisions were wiped out in the process. During the fighting, I remember that I could see the white of my enemies eyes."

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Herbert Drossler
Verson
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Mar 2010

Herbert Drossler was a loader in a German Tiger tank during the battle of Normandy against American forces.

"Near Vires during a British offensive only 60 meters away, I noticed a dying French civilian between the lines," he said. "He was shouting, 'mother, mother help me' and was wounded in the stomach by shrapnel. I then saw his mother run towards him, so I decided to help her to stop the blood coming out of her son's wound."

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Bjorn Ostring
Oslo
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Mar 2010

Bjorn Ostring is an ex Waffen SS Norwegian volunteer who fought as a platoon leader on the Russian front.

"We arrived to the front near the town of Urizk," he said. "As soon as we arrived at the front, we were thrown into the battle to contain Russian troops attacking the area."

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Fernand Kaisergruber
Brussels
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Mar 2010

Fernand Kaisergruber is a Belgium WWII veteran who fought in the Waffen SS as an infantryman on the Russian front.

"One day in late 1941, I overheard that two Flemish men had joined the Waffen SS to go fight in Russia," he said. "I talked to my boss and told him that I wanted to do the same. I therefore had the choice between the Waffen SS or the SS Wallonie. I chose the SS Wallonie."

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Adolph Straka
Ljubljana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Mar 2010

Adolph Straka is a Slovenian who fought as a volunteer in the German army against the Russians in Europe, and with alongside the Red army.

"When the Russian took me as prisoner, I was identified as a Yugoslavian, so I got better treatment," he said. "I remained prisoner of war for only three days, and I then swore to Stalin, my name was changed to Rudy, as I bore the same first name as Adolph Hitler."

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Jean Mathieu
Languimberg
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Mar 2010

Jean Mathieu is a French national who was forced into the German army to fight against the advancing Russians during WWII.

"With the coming of the Germans, I remained at the family home, he said," but because I was a peasant, the Germans left me alone until 1942, when I was sent to Northern Bavaria to a work camp."

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Giovanni Doretta
Saint-Denis
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Mar 2010

Giovanni Doretta who in an elite mountain unit in Russia as part of the Italian army on the Russian front.

"In August 1942 the division was sent to the Russian front, to the Caucasus," he said. "We took the train to the Ukrainian city of Izium, but counter-orders were sent by the Germans, and we had to unload and walked 300 kilometers to the Don front near Stalingrad."

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Eugeniusz Witt
New York City, NY
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
28 Mar 2010

Eugeniusz, a Polish WWII veteran is posing for the camera inside the WWII Polish association near Gramercy. He fought in the British army in Italy as part of an infantry outfit equipped by British forces.

"The Russians took my parents and I to Siberia, because my father was an officer in the Polish army," he said. "I never saw him again. My mother and I were put on a train. It took about two weeks to reach Siberia, with 30 other people in the same train car."

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Single Mom in London 10
london, uk
By Lihee Avidan
18 May 2008

Linda (8) lives in a dilapidated council flat in South London with her brother Hassan (5) and their mum, Kelly (23). Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe - Kelly got pregnant when she turned 15 and left school.

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Single Mom in London 14
london, uk
By Lihee Avidan
01 Dec 2007

Linda (8) lives in a dilapidated council flat in South London with her brother Hassan (5) and their mum, Kelly (23). Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe - Kelly got pregnant when she turned 15 and left school.

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Single Mom in London 16
london, uk
By Lihee Avidan
01 Dec 2007

Kelly (23) is a single mom and lives with her 2 children Hassan (5), and Linda (7), on Lawson estate, South London. She fell pregnant when she turned 15 and left school. Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe.

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Single Mom in London 12
london, uk
By Lihee Avidan
01 Dec 2007

Hassan (5) lives in a dilapidated council flat in South London with his sister Linda (8) and their mum, Kelly (23). Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe - Kelly got pregnant when she turned 15 and left school.

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Single Mom in London 13
london, uk
By Lihee Avidan
01 Dec 2007

Linda (8) lives in a dilapidated council flat in South London with her brother Hassan (5) and their mum, Kelly (23). Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe - Kelly got pregnant when she turned 15 and left school.

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Single Mom in London 15
london, uk
By Lihee Avidan
01 Dec 2007

Linda (8) lives in a dilapidated council flat in South London with her brother Hassan (5) and their mum, Kelly (23). Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe - Kelly got pregnant when she turned 15 and left school.

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Single Mom in London 9
london, uk
By Lihee Avidan
27 Nov 2007

Hassan (5) lives in a dilapidated council flat in South London with his sister Linda (8) and their mum, Kelly (23). Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe - Kelly got pregnant when she turned 15 and left school.

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Single Mom in London 11
london, uk
By Lihee Avidan
27 Nov 2007

Hassan (5) lives in a dilapidated council flat in South London with his sister Linda (8) and their mum, Kelly (23). Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe - Kelly got pregnant when she turned 15 and left school.

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Single Mom in London 6
london, uk
By Lihee Avidan
27 Nov 2007

Single mother (23) and her son Hassan (5) at home in London.

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Single Mom in London 8
london, uk
By Lihee Avidan
28 Sep 2007

Hassan (5) and Linda (8) live in a dilapidated council flat in South London with their mom, Kelly (23). Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe - Kelly got pregnant when she turned 15 and left school.