Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
15 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Thumb sm
Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Beirut, Lebanon
By Marta Bogdanska
14 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

Frame 0004
Fears of Economic Depression Loom in ...
Afghanistan
By sarakeawal
24 Apr 2012

The international community is going to hand over full responsibility of the security and defense of Afghanistan to Afghan forces by 2014. It has been declared by the international community that the military pullout of the international forces will be accompanied with a reduction in aid money.

This happens at a time when 90 percent of GDP of Afghanistan is dependent on the foreign aid, and within the past ten years, solid measures to help Afghanistan become self sustainable financially have not been taken by the Afghan government and its international benefactors.

Many in Afghanistan believe that the reduction of aid without solid measures will lead to a financial crisis in Afghanistan, which will pave the ground for political instability and pervasive insecurity.

According to the World Bank's recent report TRANSITION IN AFGHANISTAN LOOKING BEYOND 2014, which came out in November 2011, the reduction in aid money will reduce civilian service delivery and will thus lead to economic depression.

The report says, "Aid for Afghanistan in 2010-11 was about $15.7 billion and World Bank's estimation suggests that a $0.5 billion decline in the external budget, which is going to happen, could affect 11,000-18,000 job opportunities in Afghanistan (on a six-month basis.)

Amar Rezayee, who is 23-year-old Afghan and an employee of one of the projects of USAID, which is the biggest donor in Afghanistan, says,

Translation sound bite #1, Amar Rezayee (USAID employee) (00:57- 1:52): "After 2014 the situation in Afghanistan will get worse because America says that they will take their troops out of Afghanistan, so it will effect security and will also have a bad affect on the economic situation in Afghanistan. Now there are a lot of salaries from USAID that are very high and can help me pay for my tuition at the American University of Afghanistan. But when Americans leave this country there will be high salaries for a limited number of people. Personally for me, it will have a very bad effect and I will not be able to attend this university because I won't be able to pay."

The World Bank report also states that In 2010/11, total public spending, including the “core budget” and “external budget,” was $17.1 billion.

Of this total spending, $15.7 billion was financed by international aid and only $1.9 billion of it was Afghanistan's budget.

Some people in Kabul are already scared of Afghanistan's future after 2014.

Vox Populi:

Translation Sound bite #2 Shafiq saighani (Kabul resident) (2:00-2:27) " If the US leaves Afghanistan, the financial support will be cut from Afghanistan, educational scholarships will be cut from Afghanistan, the unemployment will raise up and not only Taliban but also Iran and Pakistan will interfere in Afghanistan's affairs."

Analysts are also pessimistic about Afghanistan's future because of the foreseeable economic crisis after 2014.

Translation Sound bite #3, Candace Rondeaux (Crisis Group’s senior analyst in Kabul)(2:47-4:33) "The impact of the economical transition and the lack of planning will be tremendous. Politically it increases competition between Afghan elites. but more importantly what it does is it creates an environment of instability and insecurity and that I think will create incentives around the accedes of many, many Afghans for major capital flight, and also it will raise competition and rivalry between communities that could become very, very violent.

The impact of the internationals being present here has increased income tenfold for the average Afghan man. It has created opportunities for Afghan women, which weren't there before. Once all of that collapses, first there is the impact on the family life which is going to be tremendous. Where women once had the ability to go out and work and find some sort of independence, I think that will go away quickly, in fact I think that will be the first thing that will go away. For young men, who have been earning a thousand dollars a month or in some case five thousand dollars if they were working on an international organization, for them, they have been in a certain standard of living in the past ten years and have become completely dependent on this type of money. They have cars now, they have got houses to maintain and suddenly that goes away. Imagine the impact on the family; already there is a lot of intentions around money issues in every family, doesn't matter if its Afghan or American but when income starts to shrink that always has an impact."

Frame 0004
New Edict Threatens Progress for Afgh...
Afghanistan
By sarakeawal
19 Apr 2012

Storyline: One of the most significant achievements of the new era in Afghanistan, after the fall of the Taliban, is in new freedoms for Afghan women. They are allowed to work in public, go to school, and participate in the political sphere-- something they were not allowed to do under the Taliban. However, the Afghan Religious Council, composed of hard-line religious leaders, has recently issued a new edict that calls women second-class citizens and prohibits them from traveling without the escort of a Mahram [male family member]. The edict was endorsed by the president, and has the potential of becoming law. Many people believe the Afghan government aims to woo the Taliban into peace talks by crafting and endorsing such a controversial mandate. The law has faced widespread resentment by Afghan women activists and Afghanistan’s civil society, putting pressure on the religious council and Ulema to revoke their edict.

Yalda Samih is young girl, her family lives in Kandahar province but Yalda lives in Kabul because she studies at the American University of Afghanistan.
Soundbite-1 Translation: Yalda Samih Student living in dorm: "it's very difficult for a girl to refrain from traveling unless she has a male chaperon, because not everyone has many brothers, or a father to accompany her everywhere. if it happens (the edict becomes a law), then we will face a lot of difficulties."
According to women activists in Kabul this is an unrealistic and unenforceable law for the citizens of Afghanistan.

Arezo Omid is a young woman activist who works with Young Women for Change, an organization of young women activists who advocate for women's rights. She says the law is unrealistic, and cannot be imposed on women in Afghanistan.
Soundbite-2 Translation: Arezo Omid (1:00-1:17): "I was very disappointed about this edict of Ulema council, because we are not rich people to have a male company accompany us during our trips outside the country. it's very difficult for those people who don't have a Mahram."

Soundbite-3 Translation: Yalda Samih (1:17-1:32): "if this edict becomes a law, I have to leave university. because I don't have anyone to come with me and live in the dorm. my father is responsible for the rest of the family, and I have a younger brother, who is studying school in Kandahar. So I would have to leave university.

Enayatullah Baligh a member of Islamic Ulema Council rejects Yalda's claim about the edict.
Soundbite-4 Translation: Enayatullah Baligh Member of Islamic Ulema councils: "Find a husband. find yourself a Mahram (male chaperon), these are all childish words."

Sounbite-5 Translation: Yalda samih (1:42-1:55): "I think it is impossible, because around 1.5 million widows live in Afghanistan. this edict also questions women's freedom. those who want to study can't get married and study. it is impossible."

Sounbite-6 Translation: Arezo Omid (1:56-2:05): "I personally think the government wants to get Taliban closer. If the Taliban come back to power, we will do the same thing we did last time and leave the country for the Taliban and immigrate to other countries"

Soundbite-7 Translation: Enayatullah Baligh (2:07-2:14): "When they say, 'we got closer to the Taliban because we are scared of the Taliban,' it's totally wrong. We are not scared of the Taliban, it is the issue of religion."

Sounbite-8 Translation: Arezo Omid (2:15-2:21): "the problem is that high ranking government officials support these edicts."

Sounbite-9 Translation: Enayatullah Baligh (2:23-2:44): "This edict does not need to be passed, it's a matter of religion. It is higher than the Constitution of Afghanistan, because the Afghanistan constitution states that no law is above the Islamic law. They must not ignore our edict, if they do, the Ulema Council will take action".

Soundbite-10 Translation: Soraya Kabul resident: "As an Afghan girl, I do not accept this edict, because Afghan men and women had, and must have, equal rights. And women make half of the society."

Soundbite-11 Translation: Sana Kabul resident: "I do not accept this edict, because it states that every woman should be accompanied by a man, and I would like to say that President Karzai's wife is a doctor and Mr. president can't be with his wife everywhere. So I don't accept this edict and will not obey it."

Soundbite-12 Translation: Enayatullah Baligh (3:43-4:23): Afghan women are Muslims, so they can never oppose this edict. If they oppose this edict that means they have rejected the religion. If a minister is traveling he takes a body guard with him, so why can't our sisters take someone like their brother, uncle or nephew with them? These women do not understand. It's for their good. If there are widows, the government is responsible to pay for their food, and the government is responsible to pay for the person to travel with her as well. It's all for the good of the women. I don't understand how it is NOT observing women's rights.

Frame 0004
If You Eat Garlic, You Will Get Full
Heraat, Afghanistan
By sarakeawal
11 Jan 2012

This film features the miserable life of a group of children in the western city of the Heraat province of Afghanistan by showing their work on the streets of the city.

More importantly, it shows the ill behavior of the residents of the city toward these kids. The film shows how they are treated as outcasts in the society, with people not allowing them in the sports fields, shops, and so on.

The film is ten minutes long.

Thumb sm
Mesketians return to Abastumani
Abastumani, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
01 Nov 2011

Alikhan Kuradze (at the wheel), 76, is taking help from the villagers to move to his new house in Abastumani, the village he was deported from to Central Asia in 1944.

Thumb sm
Mesketians return to Abastumani
Abastumani, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
01 Nov 2011

Alikhan Kuradze (at the wheel), 76, is using help from the villagers to move to his new house in Abastumani, the village he was deported from to Central Asia in 1944.

Thumb sm
Mesketians return to Abastumani
Abastumani, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
01 Nov 2011

Alikhan Kuradze (at the wheel), 76, is getting help from the villagers to move to his new house in Abastumani, the village he was deported from to Central Asia in 1944.

Thumb sm
Mesketians return to Abastumani
Abastumani, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
01 Nov 2011

A few Meskhetians (or Meskhetian Turks) families return to Abastumani, the village their ancestors were deported from to Central Asia in 1944.

Thumb sm
Mesketians move to Abastumani
Abastumani, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
01 Nov 2011

Alikhan Kuradze (at the wheel), 76, is taking help from the villagers to move to his new house in Abastumani, the village from where he was deported to Central Asia in 1944.

Thumb sm
Meskhetian Family
Nasakirali, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
12 Jul 2011

Meskhetian family in Nasakirali, Georgia.
In mid-November 1944, around 100,000 Georgian Muslims from the southern region of Samtskhe-Javakheti were deported to Central Asia. The vast majority of them were Meskhetians (or Meskhetian Turks). In the course of WWII, they were perceived by the Soviet government to be Turkey's potential allies. More than 60 years after the deportation, a few families managed to return to their ancestors' land.

Thumb sm
Ali Mekhriev in Abastumani
Abastumani, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
31 Mar 2011

Ali Mekhriev in his garden in Abastumani. Ali was among the first to return to the village from where his father was deported in 1944. Ali says that his father had always told him that their family would one day return to Georgia. However, the return to Abastumani turned out to be not as smooth as one would have hoped for: the family home had long been leveled, and the locals gave them a rather cold and suspicious reception. Building peace with the Abastumani’s Christian community took a few years, and it did not come easy. “We have a perfect relationship now,” says Ali. “What really matters is the kind of person you are: if you are a reasonable person, you won’t have problems with others.”

Thumb sm
Abastumani Meskhetian
Abastumani, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
31 Mar 2011

Ali Mekhriev in his garden in Abastumani. Ali was among the first to return to the village from where his father was deported in 1944. Ali says that his father had always told him that their family would one day return to Georgia. However, the return to Abastumani turned out to be not as smooth as one would have hoped for: the family home had long been leveled, and the locals gave them a rather cold and suspicious reception. Building peace with the Abastumani’s Christian community took a few years, and it did not come easy. “We have a perfect relationship now,” says Ali. “What really matters is the kind of person you are: if you are a reasonable person, you won’t have problems with others.”

Frame 0004
The Light In The Cave (Subtitles)
Afghanistan
By sarakeawal
24 Sep 2010

This film features the story of the filmmaker, Suleiman Amanzad, who survived the genocide of the residents of Bamyan province in central Afghanistan by the Taliban in 1999. The filmmaker was four years old when the Taliban captured their village and began massacring people.

His family and other villagers hid themselves in a cave near the village, and this is how they survived the genocide. After that the family of the filmmaker move to Kabul, where Suleiman gets a chance to go to school. He also gets a scholarship from the US Embassy of Kabul and attends one year of high school in the United States.

The film is eight minutes long.

Frame 0004
The Last Village
Bohoniki, Poland
By Kirk Ellingham
01 Mar 2010

Muslim Tartars in Poland

Bohoniki is a peaceful little village not far from Sokolka in the east of Poland,it is the last Tartar village before Belarus; maybe also the last of its kind.
There is no doubt that few people would have heard about it be it not for one fact: it was in this area that, in 1679, thirty Tatar soldiers were granted land for their faithful service to the Polish King Jan III Sobieski. A Tatar lady, who takes care of the Mosque, does not fail to stress that it was a reward for their valour in battle. Other sources simply say that the King was in financial straits and presented the land to his Tatar soldiers in lieu of due pay.
There are now only three Tatar families living in Bohoniki, but, considering that the village does not comprise more than thirty houses altogether, they make up about a fifth of the local population. And it is their Mosque that makes the village famous and attracts visitors from all over Poland and abroad.
Eugenia Radkieicz is the Mosque caretaker and you catch her dashing across the empty street to the small wooden Mosque when a tour bus arrives to conduct her lecture on the history of Bohoniki for groups of Polish schoolchildren.

The few families that remain are mostly elderly or sick, Evelina's father is bedridden and suffers from a Liver complaint. She takes care of the animials now and her mother worries about her future, as she must take care of them both when she gets older.
Many of the other family members are alone with their children working in cities as far afield as London to Riad.
Mrs Koztowska's son is in Spain and her elder son just returned from London, she cares for her blind husband who was injured as a boy by a German shell during World War II.
The community is still strong, the Iman comes in from Bialystock once a week for friday prayers and they are trying to set up a Religouse School in nearby Sokolka.
The village is changing though,as the young leave for foreign cities the old are left behind, but they have survived for 400 years in Poland , so they will survive still, by struggling and adapting.
The large Muslim cementary on the wooded hill just outside the village is proof of their endurance and intergration; with its Slavanised surnames and Muslim Crescents.

Frame 0004
Protest Journey
Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil
By Kirk Ellingham
01 Jul 2009

A two month journey following indigenous protests from Paraguay to Bolivia in 2007.

Thumb sm
Kalasha People of Pakistan (13 of 18)
Chitral, Pakistan
By Jodi Hilton
01 Jul 2008

Family members doing chores in a Kalash settlement, Bumburet Valley.

Thumb sm
Kalasha People of Pakistan (9 of 18)
Chitral, Pakistan
By Jodi Hilton
01 Jul 2008

Fatha Rahman brings freshly cut hay onto his roof for storage. .

Thumb sm
Kalasha People of Pakistan (5 of 18)
Chitral, Pakistan
By Jodi Hilton
01 Jul 2008

A Kalasha family on the porch of their home, Brun village.

Thumb sm
Kalasha People of Pakistan (3 of 18)
Chitral, Pakistan
By Jodi Hilton
01 Jul 2008

Kalash settlement, built into steep valley walls, where one home’s roof is another home’s patio. Bumburet Valley.

Thumb sm
The People Of Pingelap
Pingelap, Federated States of Micronesia
By U.S. Editor
02 Apr 2008

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.

Thumb sm
The People of Pingelap (12 of 27)
Pingelap, Federated States of Micronesia
By Hannes von der Fecht
22 Mar 2008

A jungle path on Pingelap Atoll.

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.