Tags / 2014
June 20 is World Refugee Day.
In 2014, global refugee numbers were higher than they have ever been since World War II. In 2015, the problem has only gotten worse.
There are currently over 50 million refugees in the world and more than %50 of them are children. Approximately half of the world's refugees are from just three countries: Afghanistan, Syria, and Somalia.
The response to this massive international crisis has been limited, with most refugee aid programs desperately underfunded. Amnesty International has called the lack of robust international response "A Conspiracy of Neglect." With little help on the way, the future of the world's displaced remains uncertain.
December 24, 2014
Yazidis from the area of Sounoun return to their homes after being trapped on Mount Sinjar since the beginning of August 2014. The Peshmerga has liberated much of the area, home to around 140,000 Yazidis, and are patrolling the area to protect the civilians.
Khodida Elias - Yazidi man
A Peshmerga fighter
Ahmad Fares - Yazidi man
Salem Kheder - Yazidi man
December 22, 2014
“The Oil Installations Guards” in the Libyan Army have deployed artillery and military vehicles in the port of Sidra, east of Tripoli, to defend Libya's largest oil depot. Libyan Army soldiers and fighters loyal to former general Khalifa Haftar have been engaged in heavy clashes with the “Dawn of Libya” militia which launched a military offensive at the beginning of last week, to control the oil rich area which includes Sidra, Ras Lanuf and Briqa in the north of the country.
(00:58) Waniss Bukhmada, The Commander of the Saiiqa Special Forces, (man, Arabic):
"The World should take a strong position regarding what is happening now in Libya.. The World should be clear and explicit with the Libyan people that is asking for freedom, security and stability. The Libyan people is not satisfied with what is happening.
FSA fighter Reciting anti Bashar Asad poem before battle against ISIS
Market place in Der Ez Zur shot by a cellphone on a bike .
October 22, 2014
Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip
21-year-old Jamil Attia Za’anin is one of thousands of Gazans who’s home was destroyed in the 2014 summer war with Israel. However, Jamil’s case is particularly bad as he suffers from a neurological disorder that has left him severely mentally disabled. Jamil now lives in a shack with his family with no access to proper healthcare. In fact, his disability itself is symptomatic of the living conditions in Gaza, as it is a result of substandard healthcare in the coastal enclave.
Jamil now spends his days chained in front of his temporary home because there is nowhere for him to go and his family fears he may run away. His younger brother Mohammad is also mentally disabled, albeit to less severe degree. The family’s situation is particularly desperate as their father Attaya is too old to work. Left with no working age males in the family, they are forced to rely on food handouts from the United Nations. The family now spends their days salvaging the rubble from their destroyed home, struggling to find enough money to eat, and trying to keep their two disabled boys safe and healthy.
October 22, 2014
Jamil Attia Za'anin with his mother Donia Za'anin. Jamil, 21, developed a spinal condition 16 years ago when he was just a child. Poor healthcare infrastructure in Gaza meant that doctors could not properly treat Jamil, so the disease spread to his brain, leaving him handicapped. Jamil lives with his ten family members in a shack in the town of Beit Hanoun in the north of the Gaza Strip. He has a younger brother Mohammed, 19, who is also handicapped and the family's situation was made even worse after their house was destroyed in the recent war with Israel.
August 28, 2014
Palestinian children orphaned in the 2014 Gaza war begin new lives in the care of extended family and orphanages. While the physical wounds many of them sustained during the 50 day war are healing, their psychological wounds are just beginning to show. Gaza's dismal, blockaded, and underfunded mental health system cannot cope with massive amount of children in need of psychosocial care. Most children will receive no specialized treatment for their deep psychological wounds.
Many children orphaned in the war are now beginning new lives in the care of extended family members. However, as Islam forbids adoption, those who do not have extended family to go to are now under the care of orphanages and will remain so until they are adults.
These photos profile three young girls who lost their parents in the 2014 Gaza conflict and are now looking for a new start as their caretakers help rebuild their shattered lives.
After what was possibly the most destructive war in Gaza in recent history, residents of the besieged coastal enclave finally have a chance to assess the damage done to their homes and properties. For the thousands left homeless by the hostilities, life is now a painstaking process of rebuilding the little that remains of their possessions.
Following a warning from the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), over 600 people evacuated their homes in the north of Gaza and have taken refuge in a UN School. Many fled few possessions and the school is now concerned that they will run out of water and supplies. "I don't know how much longer we will be able to go on in this situation," commented Abdil Sawan, the UN representative within the school.
The UN now estimates that 17,000 people have now left their homes.
A male supporter of Germany (C) reacts during the World Cup final match against Argentina at the Goethe-Institut Sao Paulo, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 13th Jul, 2014. Germany defeated Argentina after extra time at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
A female supporter of Germany (C) reacts during the World Cup final match against Argentina at the Goethe-Institut Sao Paulo, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 13th Jul, 2014. Germany defeated Argentina after extra time at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
June 25, 2014
Libyans vote at a polling station in al-Horiya Elementary School in downtown Benghazi.
Libyans are voting in the country's second parliamentary elections since the fall of the Muammar Ghadaffi in 2011.
More than 1,600 candidates are competing in these elections, 131 of whom are women.
Just few days before the start of the Football World Cup in Brazil, a little-known tournament had already been completed, and the champion was a nation that stretches across portions of France and Italy that ceased to exist 150 years ago: Contea de Nissa.
The CONIFA World Cup is an alternative international football tournament featuring 12 teams representing internationally unrecognized nations and peoples. Competitors include teams from places like Abkhazia, Darfur, Kurdistan, and elsewhere. The tournament was held in the Swedish city of Ostersund, which is located on land that is part of the the historic region of Sapmi, or Lapland, the ancestral lands of the indigenous Sami people of Scandinavia. For CONIFA founder Pers-Anders Lund, the tournament is about giving representation to the world's ubiquitous underrepresented nations.
“There is no prize in cash, players that normally just represent local clubs are now competing for their whole region, for their blood and flesh, they are bringing home pride and dignity for their people," explained Lund. "There are 80 millions Tamils and 40 millions Kurds who don't have a national team to support in Brazil.”
Brazil, Salvador da Bahia
French National Soccer Team player Karim Benzema before the match, France vs Switzerland, FIFA World Cup, June 20, 2014.
Brazil, Salvador da Bahia, 20.06.2014, Fifa World Cup 2014, France vs. Switzerland, Military Police in the Arena Fonte Nova before the match.
Brazil, Salvador da Bahia
Portuguese National Soccer Team player Cristiano Ronaldo sings the Portuguese National Anthem before the match, Portugal vs Germany, FIFA World Cup, June 16, 2014.
Fifa World Cup 2014 in Brazil, Salvador da Bahia, Arena Fonte Nova, Germany vs. Portugal, German National Team Coach Jogi Löw watches the match.
May 31, 2014
Video shows night shots of the Souq al-Hamidiyya historic market in the old city of Damascus. Shoppers are asked their opinions on the Syrian Presidential Election.
Ali Hijazi, Coffee Shop Worker:
"Concerning the social situation, it seems normal, the streets are crowded and it is improving rapidly. Shops and cafes are receiving customers, people are out at all times, nine, ten, even after eleven and twelve you can still find people outside. Everything is improving, and now it is summer, so people go out more. Tourism has decreased, but still the situation is improving."
Abu Ibrahim, Visitor from Qamishli:
"I am from Qamishli, I came to Damascus and brought my son to visit a doctor. We have been hearing from biased TV channels that the situation in Damascus at night is scary and there is bombing and shelling. However, here we are and we haven’t seen any of that, the situation is very calm and normal."
"First of all I want to salute Damascus and our President, and I want to note that all people are happy and out on the streets at night. There is nothing to worry about and I sincerely hope the situation will improve more because there is nothing as amazing as Damascus. May God protect our president."
"Everything is fine, we are outside, it is 9:30 at night now and there is nothing to worry about. If any uncomfortable situation was sensed we wouldn’t have gone out at night."
Another man had already been killed by a teargas canister shot during previous protests. In reaction, young people from the Chepesi party rioted for days against the police, yelling slogans and calling them Katil (criminals, murderers).
The Popular Republican Pary (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, or CHP) is the longest standing party in Turkey. It represents the strongest left-wing political force in the country.
Many young boys and men take to the streets. On one side, they throw stones and molotovs, on the other plastic bullets, teargas and Toma.
After the Gezi Park riots, many movements emerged to oppose the AKP and its leader, Prime Minister Recip Teyyip Erdogan, who has enforced various restrictions on freedom of speech and the press.
The protestors include both young and old people, the former in the front whilst the latter remain in the back to play a supporting role in clashes with the armed forces.
In suburbs prone to such clashes, once often encounters strong local support.
Since the beginning of the clashes, 9 people have died and more than 8163 have been injured. This does not include the number of arrests; it also makes the violence one of the most tragic events in recent Turkish history.
The number of Turkish security forces deployed in the neighborhood has steadily increased since the first wave of violence. During the clashes, police never entered the heart of the suburb, but are now slowly making deeper forays into the neighborhood.
After weeks of protests following the Soma mine disaster, police resorted to using real ammunition during the most violent clashes. Previously, only rubber bullets were used; the use of live ammunition has since then led to causalities.
Neighborhood life only stops in the greatest moments of tension, when vendors close their shops in order to protect themselves and their belongings. Many watch the events from a distance.
Home to several active parties, social tensions in the neighborhood also have political roots. These parties include the DHKP-C (Revolutionary People's Liberation Party–Front), considered an illegal terrorist organization by Erdogan's administration, the BDP (Party for Peace and Democracy) a legal party that supports the Kurdish cause, and the SODAP (Socialist Solidarity Platform).
22 May 2014. News of the shooting death of 30-year old Ugur Kurt was confirmed. He was killed by police in an Alevi mosque, or Cemevi, in the Okmaydani suburb of Istanbul.
Okmaydani is an far-left leaning neighbourhood where Turkish and Kurdish parties coexist. Due to its proximity to Taksim Square, it has been a major force in the protests surrounding the Gezi Park demonstrations.
Young boys and men take to the streets. On one side, they throw stones and molotovs. They are met with plastic bullets, teargas and armored police vehicles with water cannons.
A small demonstration of the DHKP/C (Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front) waves red flags through the neighborhood and shouting slogans in order to attract people into the streets.
The only signs left of the tension in Okmeydani from the previous days are poles wrecked by the protestors and some statements written on the walls in memory of Berkin Elvan, Urgu Kurt and Ayhan Yilmaz
The response after the arrests was lively.
The streets fill with teargas and barricades.
Once the police leave, people armed with guns and rifles come out to shoot security cameras. They want to prove who is in control of that part of the neighborhood.
For many on the political left in Turkey, conditions in the country are rapidly becoming a reason for social upheaval. The extreme poverty of some suburbs, the deaths of 300 miners in Soma, the marginalization of minorities, the war on the Syrian border, police oppression of protestors and restrictions on the press are exacerbating tensions in an already politically divided society.
The grievances that led to protests are tied to religious and communal issues. A large percentage of the protestors come from the Alevi (Alawite) sect, which has been long aligned with secular leftist parties. The Alevis have traditionally been lower-class and socially disadvantaged and have not benefitted from the prosperity that has taken part in other parts of Istanbul and Turkey. The Alevis and the left-wing movements they support stand in staunch opposition to the conservative, Sunni-Islamist ideology endorsed by Prime Minister Erdogan.
A funeral procession begins at Cem Evi. Starting at 18:00, the procession will continue toward the house where Ugur Kurt used to live. His body was eventually taken for burial to his hometown of Sivas.
After the demonstration in support of Ugur's family, the streets are empty. Around 19:30 a group of youngsters with their faces covered takes to one of Istanbul's main streets of Istanbul and provokes the police by throwing stones. The security forces, armed with Toma and teargas, respond immediately and disperse the crowd.