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Aquaponics in Egypt
Cairo, Egypt
By Serene Yordi
22 Jun 2013

Water in the desert is a scarce and valuable resource. When it must sustain an ever-growing population, it becomes even more valuable. Two young enterprising farmers in Cairo, Egypt recognize this, and have built a small farm with efficiency and sustainability in mind. In the sandy outskirts of Egypt's bustling capital, an aquaponics farm has set up shop. Combining the practices of hydroponics and aquaculture, the farm employs a closed water cycle to both grow fish and plants. In doing so, they use 90% less water than traditional farming techniques used by their Egyptian counterparts. This system aims to mimic the efficiency of the natural environment, where water sources can sustain multiple species of plants and animals in a small area. They have big aspirations for this type of farming, and hope that more farmers will see the benefits of reduced water use and turn to aquaponics. The duo have caught the eye of local restaurants and business magazines alike, and also sell their produce in a budding farmer's market in Cairo's trendy Zamalek district.

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Protests Turn Violent in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo, Brazil
By Mais Istanbuli
21 Jun 2013

Thousands of protesters took over the streets of Sao Paulo throughout the past week, against the rise in public transportation costs and expenses paid by the Brazilian government to host the Confederations Cup and World Cup in 2014. The wave of protests grew. There were clashes with police, invasion of public buildings, many hospitalized and arrested. Now the protests are calmer and the government is responding with a series of important changes required by Social Movements and protestants.

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Life Along The Railway
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By U.S. Editor
20 Jun 2013

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.

For more information: http://transterramedia.com/media/19374

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Gezi Gets Gassed
Istanbul, Turkey
By Mais Istanbuli
19 Jun 2013

Riots in Istanbul started for the sake of protecting Gezi Park, located beside Taksim Square, after the government announced a mall project which would be erected in place of the park. Initially, a few hundred people, mainly environmental activists, conducted peaceful protests and camped in the park. After the first two days of protesting, police officers violently attacked the protesters with tear gas and burned their sleeping tents.

The public furiously responded to these attacks, as they joined together void of any political movement, against the government. The protests contained a powerful, organic element, that combined the diverse Turkish community together for the first time in the country's history, fighting for one cause: freedom. Citizens want be to involved; they want to be the decision makers in the city. More than three weeks have passed since the riots began and there is still ongoing violence everyday. Casualties already reached four dead, thousands injured, and thousands arrested. Also, many journalists have been taken into custody.

Present-day Gezi Park has a controversial history. The site was formerly an Armenian graveyard between 1551-1939 and was also the place of Topcu Kislasi, military barracks built under the reign of Sultan Selim III. The area also included the very first Genocide memorial statue in the world, built in 1919, which witness annual commemorations until 1924.

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Greek State Broadcaster Under Occupation
Athens, Greece
By Mais Istanbuli
18 Jun 2013

Employees at Greek state broadcaster ERT occupy the headquarters and keep broadcasting despite the govenrment’s decision to suddenly close down the company. Thousands of citizens showed their solidarity guarding the headquarters from police intervention.

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The Azerbaijan Army Today
Agdam, Azerbaijan
By Mais Istanbuli
18 Jun 2013

The Azerbaijani army celebrates the 95th anniversary of the formation of the National Army of Azerbaijan in the Karabakh region of Agdam. The National Army of Azerbaijan was formed on June 26, 1918 and consists of the army, air force and air defense forces, and naval forces. The modern Azerbaijani army was established in 1993, during the Nagorno-Karabakh war, on the basis that urban militias were associated with local self-defense groups.

In 1998, the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan amounted to more than 72,000 people. The Army (55,600 men and officers) had 245 tanks, 335 armored combat vehicles, about 300 field artillery pieces, missile systems, mortars, and more than 60 air defense missile systems. Air Force and Air Defense Forces (10.4 million people) had 37 combat air-crafts, 15 combat helicopters, and 100 air defense missile systems. The navy (2.2 million people) had 39 combat ships and boats. In 2005, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan had 95 thousand personnel, including the Army, Air Defense, and the Navy. By 2010, the size of the armed forces reduced to 66,940 personnel.

Since September 1999, the Azerbaijani military has been exercising peacekeeping in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The army's main international partners include Turkey, Ukraine, Pakistan, Israel, Slovenia, the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

In 1988, a war started between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in the Caucasus region, which was fueled by inter-communal conflict that took place the preceding year. By December 1988, most Armenians and Azerbaijanis were involved in the conflict, as it transformed from a local problem in Nagorno-Karabakh to an "open inter-ethnic confrontation", according to AN Yamskov.

Between 1991-1994, the conflict led to large-scale military action for control of Nagorno-Karabakh and some surrounding territories. On May 5, 1994, a ceasefire agreement, the Bishkek Protocol, was signed between Armenia and the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, on one hand, and Azerbaijan, on the other hand.

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Syrian oil farmers
Ras al Ain, Syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
17 Jun 2013

Article about homemade oil refining by farmers in Syria. It goes with the photos you can find under this link: http://transterramedia.com/collections/1279

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São Paulo Protests Turn Violent
Sao Paulo, Brazil
By U.S. Editor
14 Jun 2013

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.

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Escape to Egypt
Cairo, Egypt
By Serene Yordi
14 Jun 2013

Oromo refugees that have fled Ethiopia for the safety of Egypt in order to escape persecution by their current government are now facing danger once again. Over the past months, there has been an emergence of xenophobic attacks against Ethiopians on the streets of Cairo, motivated by Ethiopia's goal to build the “Grand Renaissance Dam.” The Ethiopian government is planning to dam the Blue Nile for hydroelectric power, a move Egypt worries will negatively affect their water supply.

"They said if you take our water, we will take your blood," said Abdi Harboury, an Oromo refugee, who was evicted by his landlord after the dam controversy began. Though the refugees came together to protest in front of UNHCR’s office in Cairo, the agency can do little to help keep them safe. The population fears continued attacks and discrimination if the water issue is not resolved.

To view article, click here: http://transterramedia.com/media/21012

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Mozambique Tea Estates
Gurue, Zambezia, Mozambique
By Luis Miguel Rodrigues
14 Jun 2013

Gurué, town and history

Once called the Switzerland of Mozambique, Gurué, in Zambezia Province, centre of Mozambique is forgotten for decades after the independence of country and three decades of civil war.
In colonial times, the district, founded in the 19th century and named, later, Vila Junqueiro, was the biggest tea region in Mozambique, having a total of fifteen factories processing tea leaf and exporting worldwide. Now only three to five remains working without major problems and in tentative of a constant and uniform production.
Due to the high level of the region (having the second highest peak in Mozambique - Namuli Mountain) and the wet climate, the settlers, one century ago, found this place with the proper conditions for tea plantations. The landscape was largely transformed to grow tea and tea tasters from India and producers from Europe began building the city with its houses, factories and other infrastructures. Gurué is a model in colonial architecture with a well preserved number of houses, churches, and other vestiges of Portuguese heritage.
By the middle of 20th century, brands like Chá Moçambique, Chá Licungo and Chá Gurué as others, achieved international recognition in Europe, Great Britain and even America and Canada. It was the time of the tea aristocracy with its wealthy style of living making this place be named Switzerland of Mozambique.
Nowadays, the Lomwe people, continue to work in the tea, this time owned not by the old settlers but mainly by Indian capitals. However the production is far from the 70´s of last century. The independence from Portugal in 1975 made the old European aristocracy run back to the metropole. Everything was abandoned and three decades of civil war along with leftist collective economy politics, leaded by the single ruling party FRELIMO, made the production decreases and most of the factory’s get nationalized and later closed, destroyed and abandoned.
Meanwhile the intense green, the complete transformation of the landscape made by the vast tea plantations, the unique climate and its isolation together with the individuality of this Mozambican region make Gurué a must visit destination.

The tea culture, past and present

By the late 70´s of the past century, Gurué with its 15 tea factories was producing an average of 19.000 tons per year of processed leaf employing around 28.000 workers from the city and neighbor villages. It was the time of around 300 settlers, ruling sometimes using forced labour brought even from other provinces, own plantations that reached near 9.000 hectares of cropped land. It was the golden era of Mozambican tea and of the city itself.
By 2012, the last figure shows that the production was reduced to a number of around 2.500 tons, just thirteen per cent of the average before independence and with an area used of just 5.700 ha, near half of the past. The industry employs now around 3.000 workers in peak periods but just 250 are in an effective job situation. This figure makes the tea jobs, once a major employment industry as just a part of the solution for the daily income in one of the poorest countries in the world for these Lomwe people.
With a ratio of two workers per hectare, picking the leaf into wood baskets that they hang in their back, its necessary to work two entire days to receive about eighty metical’s (three dollars) for each fifty kilograms of leaf picked. It’s around one dollar and half a day, when there is leaf to be picked. To make the situation worst, at least in two of the five active factories, there are about 8 months of salary with late payment. This situation creates a vicious cycle where the employer don’t pay and the workers, in a silent and quiet strike, are pushed for an inactivity, tactically and inevitable, making all this industry atrophy year after year in this isolated region of Mozambique.
Together with the low wages and late payments that make the productions much lower than before, also the plant itself, named camellia sinensis is no longer strong and able for productions per hectare comparable with the figures achieved in the last century. Planted mainly in the 60´s of the last century, the plant need to be replaced with other varieties more productive and adequate to the region. This fact make the tea decrease its quality what creates difficulties in the sales at the international markets. From the neighbor producing countries like Malawi and Kenya, Mozambique is the only one that up to know didn't renovate the old plants.
All this facts make the income of the industry decrease significantly. The actual owners of the industry, mainly Indian capitals and in one case a joint venture between Indians and Mozambicans claim they need about 100 millions of dollars of investment for the renovation of the potential 10.000 hectares of the crops and with that bring the production to the old values achieved before independence. They also claim that due the actual panorama, bank credit is difficult to get to support the modernization of the business. The low productions and low quality make this business unable to deal directly with international buyers and inevitably part of the production must be sold in auction flours in Kenya and other part sold internally. The situation of sell it in auction flours makes the final price be much more vulnerable to the market price fluctuations and much difficult to deal in good terms and conditions. Resuming, the business in its actual situation don’t encourage the exportation of the goods due to the actual market sold prices. With an average of 1 dollar per kg as sold price and low productions, it is not enough to export directly to international markets worldwide. Far are the times that the tea was directly exported to Europe, America and Canada and Gurué was the Switzerland of Mozambique.

Perspectives for the future

With a recently created producer association, in 2011, ideas and hope for solutions are being discussed to change the actual wilt panorama. One is to bring more power and control to the workers instead of being mere wage earner from the capitals that owns the industry. The simple be employed conditions have shown that it is not an adjusted solution for the present times. The idea of create and provide conditions for small production associations and family’s to grown themselves the tea leaf and sold later to the industries is gaining adepts.
With this solution, the production of the leaf would be passed to the workers in form of associations or among their families. It would make easier that small financial loans, difficult to get by the owner of the factories, could create big changes. Instead of being mere employed, the workers would be responsible and be more active in the production of the crop. By the other side, the factories would spend less financial resources in some operations like fertilizing, that due the general poverty of the workers and few control see many times the products being robbed, employing and others and would concentrate and specialize just in the leaf processing, packing and exporting. That’s the new hope for Gurué industry and for Lomwe people in the interior of Zambezia Province.

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Asian Families Face Evictions In Italy
Milan, Italy
By U.S. Editor
14 Jun 2013

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.

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Mozambique Tea Estates
Gurue, Zambezia, Mozambique
By Mais Istanbuli
14 Jun 2013

Once called the the Switzerland of Mozambique, Gurué, in Zambezia Province, center of Mozambique stays forgotten for decades after the independence of Mozambique and three decades of civil war.

In colonial times, the disrict, founded in the 19th century and named Vila Junqueiro, was the biggest tea region in Mozambique, having a total of 5 factories processing tea leafs and exporting worldwide. Now only remains one factory working.

Due to the high level of the region (having the second highest mountain in Mozambique - Namuli Mountain with 2.419 m above sea level) and the wet climate, the settlers, one century ago, found this place with the proper conditions for tea plantations. The landscape was largely transformed to grow tea and tea tasters began building houses. Gurué is a model in colonial architecture with a well preserved number of traditional houses, churches, and other vestiges of Portuguese presence.

Now, the Lomwe people, continue to cultivate the tea, this time owned not by the old settlers but by Indian capitals. However the production is far from the 70´s values of last century. The independence made the old lords run away, back to Europe, everything was abandoned and three decades of civil war made four from the five factory close, get ruined and abandoned.

Meanwhile the intense green, the complete transformation of the landscape made by the vast tea plantations, the unique climate and it's isolation together with the individuality of the Mozambique region make Gurué a tourist destination.

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The Oldest Pottery Workshop In Gaza o...
Gaza
By U.S. Editor
11 Jun 2013

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.

To Read Full Article Go To : http://transterramedia.com/media/19049

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Kenya MP Parliament Protest
Nairobi, Kenya
By Mais Istanbuli
11 Jun 2013

Kenyan protestors threw animal blood symbolising greed during a protest over Members of Parliament's salaries on the 11th of June 2013. Kenyan MPs have voted to allow a pay increase for themselves in defiance of proposals to cut their pay. Kenyan MP's are already one of the higest paid in the world.The MP's voted for a monthly salary of about $10,000 (£6,540).

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Occupy Parliament Demonstrations Nair...
Nairobi, Kenya
By U.S. Editor
10 Jun 2013

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.

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KENYA GAME RANGERS
Tsavo East, Kenya
By U.S. Editor
10 Jun 2013

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

To View More Photos Go To: http://transterramedia.com/collections/1244

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Kenya Game Rangers
Tsavo East, Kenya
By U.S. Editor
10 Jun 2013

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

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The Front Lines of Kenya's National ...
Tsavo East, kenya
By Transterra Editor
10 Jun 2013

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers are dedicated to the protection and management of wildlife in Kenya, despite the dangers the job entails. One of their main tasks involves guarding parks and reserves against those who poach elephants for their valuable ivory tusks. Though the rangers are armed with assault rifles, they face extreme dangers when faced with poachers who are often heavily armed and out number the KWS rangers. These exclusive photos portray the rangers as they put their lives on the line to protect Kenya’s threatened elephants in Tsavo East National Park. June, 2013.

View More Photos: http://transterramedia.com/collections/1244

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Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By U.S. Editor
06 Jun 2013

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.

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Displaced Fight Land-Grabbing in Bang...
Noakhali, Bangladesh
By Serene Yordi
06 Jun 2013

Land is an increasingly rare resource in Bangladesh. Over sixty percent of the country’s population of 150 million depend on agriculture to make its living, yet the majority of Bangladesh’s cultivable land belongs to 10 percent of the people.
Each year hundreds are displaced by climate change and make their way to Noakhali District in pursuit of government promised khasland. Yet in a system rife with corruption, very little of this land ever materializes. Left landless, the poor farmers of Noakhali are forced to band together and fend for themselves.

To view article, click here: http://transterramedia.com/media/21242

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The Ancient Craft of Pottery in the G...
Gaza City
By Transterra Editor
06 Jun 2013

Jun 2013 12:00 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.

To Read Full Article Go To : http://transterramedia.com/media/19049
View More Photos Here: http://transterramedia.com/collections/1175

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Protest Against Land Grabbing Nairobi...
Nairobi, Kenya
By Mais Istanbuli
03 Jun 2013

Monday, June 3rd, a group of youths marched to the capital of Kenya, Nairobi, to the city hall in protest against land grabbing by foreigners.
Land grabbing by foreigners is a big issue in Kenya. As a result, many young people are unemployed because the places they normally work at are bought by private developers who erect tall buildings for financial benefits. In the past, the Kenyan government has not been of much help to the youths plight due to corruption. But with the current government, they are hoping things will change for the better.Picture By Nick Klaus

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Christians in Ras al-Ayn
Ras Al-Ayn, Syria
By Transterra Editor
03 Jun 2013

The deserted streets in the Christian neighborhood of Ras al-Ayn, in the northeast of Syria, reflect the fear of the people. This was once a place where Christians went for coffee to Muslims and Kurds had tea with Arabs. Today there is no place for Orthodox Christians to practice their faith. Since the end of January this year, the priest fled the country and left the St. George Church with closed doors. The division among the Arab and Kurdish militias is destabilizing the area and brings chaos into the city. There are also more and more stories of people who have to leave their homes and kidnapping for ransom.

Some Christian families are seeking refuge with the Kurdish militia, and others with the Arabs. "The city is characterized by division," said one resident, "only God knows what future awaits the Syrian Christians."

To see the accompanying article, click here: http://transterramedia.com/media/21616

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Rival Football Hooligans Unite Agains...
Istanbul, Turkey
By Mais Istanbuli
02 Jun 2013

ISTANBUL, TURKEY--

Rival Turkish football fans have battled each other for years. But for the first time in history, fans from Istanbul's most powerful teams, Galatasaray, Besiktas and Fenerbahce have found a common enemy; Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AK Party. For nearly a week the three major fan's firms, Carsi, UltrAslan and Genc FB have put their differences aside.
Galatasary football fan Baris Demerli remarked "One month ago, we were killing each, now we got together and have formed 'Istanbul United'."
Nightly they don ski goggles and face masks and wrap themselves in football scarves against the effects of tear gas to do battle with the police. They see themselves as an army of resistance, the protectors of the people. And the people they are protecting are the thousands of peaceful protesters camped out in Istanbul's Gezi Park, demanding a change in the Turkish leadership's policies on urban development.

According to Hasan Esin, a die-hard, card-carrying Galatasaray fan and member of the UltrAslan fan club, the call to fight went out last Friday.

"Besiktas is bad, we need reinforcements," was the message that came through Twitter and Facebook. "We all went down to help", says Esin, who is a towering, powerful man with a gentle smile. Thousands came to fight with police every night since. Many have been injured, and officially three people have died, one police officer and two protesters. Erin says it's devolved into a guerrilla war. The football fans whose only weapons are paving stones have had to fight the "excessive force" of the police with "excessive cleverness."

They have built barricades from burned out vehicles, police gates, lamp posts, sign posts, paving stones, fencing and all sorts of metal objects they've harvested from the urban landscape. They use the barricades to block the police. Taksim Square is surrounded on all sides. Police can not come to Gezi Park without first bulldozing the barricades, which means facing off against the football fans.

Police have fired thousands of rounds of tear gas. They've used water cannons and rubber bullets. The football fans have used a series of tactics. They throw stones, they try to toss back teargas canisters. They yell, they chant vulgar slogans. One day they decided to pour gallons of olive oil on the steep incline up to Taksim Square. The police tank skidded each time it attempted to climb.

The violence began last week May 30, 2013 when police forces raided Gezi Park, surrounding sleeping protesters, tear gassing them and lighting tents on fire. The excessive use of force ignited tens of thousands of people to rise up against the government's heavy-handed tactics in support of Gezi Park. Nowadays the park is full of protesters camping out, playing music, dancing, chanting, sharing food, books, medicine and even offering "free hugs".

Erdogan "crazy projects": a third Bosphorus Bridge, a third airport for the city and a new shipping canal have infuriated environmentalists, urban planners and ordinary citizens of the already sprawling megalopolis. The destruction of a small park in the center of the city in favor of yet-another shopping mall—the city already boasts more than one hundred—was the last straw.

While free hugs and free love dominant the mood in Gezi Park, the football hooligans, hyped up on adrenaline, suffer casualties (some say 50 people have died facing off against the police). Volunteer medics rush people to nearby makeshift clinics to be treated for the effects of tear gas, oftentimes breathing problems and impact wounds from the teargas canisters.

Brave or bold, the football fans continue. A video circulating online makes light of the situation. In it, football fans dial the police emergency number.

"Please, police, send more gas," demands the addicted football fan. "Okay, we are coming," promises the police officer.

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Ankara Protest
Ankara, Turkey
By U.S. Editor
01 Jun 2013

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.

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Kinshasa Street Kids
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
By U.S. Editor
01 Jun 2013

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.

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No Tobacco Day In Pakistan
Karachi, Pakistan
By U.S. Editor
31 May 2013

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.

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Kenyan Grandmothers' Survival -Editor...
Nairobi, Kenya
By Mais Istanbuli
28 May 2013

Wairimu Gachenga, 70, lives in the notorious Nairobi slum of Korogocho, Kenya. She looks after her grandchildren, 19 year old Wahome Njeriand and 17 year old Wairimu Njeriafter, after their mother died from HIV. In order to make ends meet, she travels to the Dandora dumpsite to collect plastic and other recyclable material which she then sells. On a weekly basis, she receives some cabbage and other plant material from a church in the area that she uses to feed her family.

Gachenga regularly joins a group of grandmothers from the area who get together to practice self-defense techniques, after one of the natives was raped in 2007. Elderly women in Kenya are increasingly suffering from sexual assault, since many believe that they have a lower risk of catching HIV compared to younger women. In response to this problem, the group is also part of a support group for the women, where they swap stories and ensure each other's safety. When one of the women doesn't attend a meeting, the rest of the group suspects that she is in danger. Gachenga, like many other women in her condition, has resorted to communal means to secure her livelihood, where the weekly meetings act as a safe haven for those in need of help.

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Kenya Grandmother's Survival
Nairobi, Kenya
By Mais Istanbuli
28 May 2013

Wairimu Gachenga, 70, lives in the notorious Nairobi slum of Korogocho, Kenya. She looks after her grandchildren, 19 year old Wahome Njeriand and 17 year old Wairimu Njeriafter, after their mother died from HIV. In order to make ends meet, she travels to the Dandora dumpsite to collect plastic and other recyclable material which she then sells. On a weekly basis, she receives some cabbage and other plant material from a church in the area that she uses to feed her family.
Gachenga regularly joins a group of grandmothers from the area who get together to practice self-defense techniques, after one of the natives was raped in 2007. Elderly women in Kenya are increasingly suffering from sexual assault, since many believe that they have a lower risk of catching HIV compared to younger women. In response to this problem, the group is also part of a support group for the women, where they swap stories and ensure each other's safety. When one of the women doesn't attend a meeting, the rest of the group suspects that she is in danger. Gachenga, like many other women in her condition, has resorted to communal means to secure her livelihood, where the weekly meetings act as a safe haven for those in need of help.

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Nowhereland Tattoo Project
Cairo, Egypt
By Mais Istanbuli
27 May 2013

The Nowhereland Tattoo project in Cairo, Egypt is a underground movement led by two young Venezuelans tattoo artists, Orne Gil and Lorena Mora. The two are combating the country's growing conservatism and cultural and religious taboos associated with body art by opening a tattoo studio. Beyond that, they are attempting to change misconceptions correlated with tattoos, such as a being a mark of criminality or homosexuality, by educating people on tattoo art and how to get it safely.

In Egypt, the project faces many obstacles. In Islam, it is frowned upon for Muslims permanently mark their bodies with tattoos. In a Muslim country such as Egypt, getting body art can have grave consequences - one young man's father, a Salafist, threw corrosive acid on his son after discovering his tattoo.

Despite the fact that the two young artists are forced to work in the shadows in the back of a beauty parlor for now, the practice has spurned a new culture of Arabic calligraphy art, revolution-inspired drawings and poetry. The two remain determined and have a lofty goal of changing attitudes toward body art across not only Egypt, but other Middle Eastern countries and even some in South America. They know that change comes only one step at a time.

This is a photo-essay following the Nowehereland Tattoo Project at work in Cairo, Egypt.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries
Lerissos, Greece
By Transterra Editor
26 May 2013

In the birthplace of the ancient philosopher Aristotle, a popular movement fight against the aperture of a new gold mine in the Skouries forest, owned by El Dorado Gold, a canadian company. In Halkidiki region, in the north of Greece, El Dorado is planning to build a combination of open-pit and underground gold mines, linked to its existing Stratoni lead-zinc mine.

In December 2003, the Cassandra Mine assets of TVX Hellas S.A. in the Halkidiki peninsula were transferred by law to the Greek State for 11 million euros. They were sold the same day to Hellas Gold S.A. for the same price, without any economic assessment of the assets or an open competition.

According to Greek mining regulations, the company has full possession of the minerals contained in the concessions granted and there are no royalties payable to the State – providing little economic security to the region or the State. Due to current political instability in Greece and the accompanying state-wide austerity measures, Greek authorities have displayed little tolerance for displays of opposition from citizens in the region.

At the end of October 2013, the movement was accused to be "a criminal organization" after tapping journalists and activists.

Photos and Text by Michele Lapini

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Insurgents battle with Afghan Securit...
Kabul, Afghanistan
By U.S. Editor
24 May 2013

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.

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Oil Theft in Nigeria's Turbulent Nige...
Bayelsa, Nigeria
By U.S. Editor
23 May 2013

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.

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Ruins of Moore, Oklahoma
Moore, Oklahoma
By U.S. Editor
21 May 2013

Homes are reduced to rubble after the devastating tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.

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Islamist Extremists Clash With Police...
Tunis, Tunisia
By U.S. Editor
19 May 2013

The Islamic Extremist Organization "Ansar al Sharia" members demonstrate in the Capital Tunis.