Wednesday, March 22, 2017

World Water Day 2017

March 22 marks the World Water Day. As I am currently preparing and researching my next project in Rwanda, I think of what access to water mean. In Rwanda, a country who is rapidly modernising and improving when it comes to economy, infrastructure and generally speaking quality of life, 3 million people does not have direct access to fresh water.
These kids are carrying water home at the end of the day, a necessity, as there are few houses in this region with direct access to water.
#genocide #neveragain #photography #storytelling #photojournalism #worldwaterday #keystonephoto #nikonpro #rwanda

Friday, February 24, 2017

FIFDH Humanitarian Film Festival and Forum- Geneva March 11th at 14:30- Maison des Arts du Grütli.

Yazidi refugees near Dohuk in the Kurdistan/ Iraq region near Sinjar. June 2016.
Come and join us at the FIFDH Humanitarian Film Festival and Forum- Geneva. I will, with Vicken Cheterian present some of the stories we worked on in Iraq last June. 

Images will be exhibited in the bar area downstairs throughout the Festival!

#photography #documentary #photojournalism #reportage #webster #iraq #keystone
#halabja #sinjar #refugee #chemical #genocide #fifdh2017 #grutli

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Rwanda- soon back again.

A souvenir- research in progress.
The people living up on the hills in Bisesero, Rwanda, are preparing for the evening part of the commemoratin taking place on April 7th. 2014- 20 years after the Genocide against the Tutsi.
#genocide #neveragain #photography #documentary #photojournalism #reportage #webster #nikonpro  #keystone #reverienrurangwa #rwanda

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Yazda reopened.

Good news, Yazda, the NGO located in Dohuk, supporting the Yazidi people in the Sinjar region has reopened after a series of positive meetings with the Kurdistan Regional Government “KRG”. It means they can restart the projects in the region.
Jamil Shawmar talking to Vicken Cheterian at the Yazda Head office in Dohuk, Iraq

#photography #documentary #photojournalism #reportage #webster #nikonpro #iraq #keystone #yazidi #refugee #sinjar #peshmerga #yazda

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Halabja, Kurdistan Iraq- 28 years after the Genocide.

Dana Omar Ali was only 6 years old  (Born 1982) in 1988. He lived in Halabja, a city in Iraq, close to the boarder of Iran. Saddam Hussein was the totalitarian Dictator who ruled the country. In 1988, he ordered a chemical attack on Halabja. Dana Omar Ali survived. He became  a university educated teacher. Since the attack, he had developed a small 'cough' but did not think it was anything serious. 4 years ago (as of June 2016), his lung capacity collapsed and he is now destined to stay in bed and needs a breathing machine to survive.
Dana Omar Ali at his home in Halabja (June 2016)
This is a fairly common story in the city where over 5000 people were killed and over 7000 people injured. Many of the survivors today have developed problems, like Dana Omar Ali, after the attack.

Kamel Abdel Kader was born 1973 and was 15 years old during the  chemical attack. He survived continued to live relatively normally. He got ill 8 years ago and is now, just like Dana Omar Ali, living with a breathing machine.
Kamel Abdel Kaderat his home in Halabja (June 2016) 
Friends, including the Mayor of Halabja, Khder Kareem, (second from the left) are visiting Kamel Abdel Kader.
Today, Halabja is a small city of about 117000 mostly Kurdish people. ‘The chemical attack happened towards the end of the Iran Iraq war- the Kurds in the Halabja region was supported by Iran. On March 16th 1988, after two days of ordinary artillery attacks, Iraqi planes dropped gas canisters on the town. The town and surrounding district were attacked with bombs, artillery fire, and chemical weapons, the last of which proved most devastating. At least 5,000 people died as an immediate result of the chemical attack and it is estimated that a further 7,000 people were injured or suffered long term illness. Most of the victims of the attack on the town of Halabja were Kurdish civilians’. (Wikipedia). 
Girl on bike in the Jewish quarter in the city of Halabja, Iraq in June 2016.
Two women walking in the Jewish quarter in the city of Halabja, Iraq in June 2016 
Street Marked in Halabja, June 2016.

No one knows exactly what was used, but it is believed that nerve agents Tabun, Sarin, VX as well as Mustard gas was used. Some argues that cyanid also was used.
The memorial cemetery in Halabja where victims of Saddam Husseins chemical attack of 1988 are buried. Baath's party members are not allowed to enter.
The memorial cemetary in Habaja is located in the outskirts of the town.
The memorial cemetery in Halbja, Iraq, a sculpture symbolises the victims of the attack in 1988. Some young people use the place to relax.
I visited Halabja in June 2016 with journalist Vicken Cheterian. 

#photography #documentary #photojournalism #reportage #webster #nikonpro #iraq #keystone #halabja #refugee #chemical #genocide

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bed for Janviere update

I was meant to be returning from Rwanda today after having delivered the bed to Janviere. The good news is that the bed is in Rwanda! The bad news is that we have had some administrative issues that have caused a delay. I am of course determined to make it to Rwanda in order to meet with Janviere again as well as giving her the new bed and am hoping everything is sorted so that this can now happen next month. I am looking forward to soon post the conclusion on this project- and- hopefully introduce stage two... Please stay in touch for the updates next week.
Many people helped by donating through 100days in Switzerland and the help will reach beyond the bed- more to come on that soon! The bed was a donation from Hospital MC Group, we have had help from Dutch medical component company Polyganics in order to ship the bed from Europe to Rwanda. Noord Nederlands Klussenbedrift made the box to pack it in. Photo Rudy Mareel
#genocide #neveragain #photography #documentary #photojournalism #reportage #webster #nikonpro #ronorp #keystone #photobastei #100days #ronorp #polyganics #NoordNederlandsKlussenbedrift

Friday, January 06, 2017

Yazda closed down

Sad news from Human Right Watch and writer Belkis Wille: "Yazda, a prominent nongovernmental organization supporting the Yezidi religious minority said it was shut down by security officers from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)". Yazda was a great help in the work we did in Norther Iraq/ Kurdistan last June. For many Yazidi, their support was clearly vital and it is sad to see this as not less but more help is desperately needed. Particularly now in the midst of winter. 
Jamil Shawmar at the Yazda Head office in Dohuk, Iraq.
Mahmoud, former soldier, helped liberating the Yazidi down from the mount Sinjar by creating a corridor into Syria. Now,  he is with Yassda. Dogure village.

#photography #documentary #photojournalism #reportage #webster #nikonpro #iraq #keystone #yazidi #refugee #sinjar #peshmerga

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Finally- a conclusion...and maybe a New Story

As this year is about to finish, I am happy to share the latest news on the project on helping Janviere with a new bed. The fundraising efforts were done in May. The planning took a little bit of time as I am based in Switzerland and this had to be organised in Rwanda. Friends who are based in Kigali and who knows Janviere were not available before January 1st- so we decided in the early fall to wait until early January. So- the plan is, next week will see the project come together! Some administrative issues seems to cause some problems- but I am determined to make it to Rwanda in order to meet with Janviere again as well as giving her the new bed and find out how the fund raising money can help her in the best possible way over the next few years. Please stay in touch for the updates next week!
From her bed, Janvier can see the corridor in the house where she lives. The little girl ofte come to play. Janvier was 11 in 1994, this girl is younger, but one can only imagine how different her life would have been without her injuries.
#genocide #neveragain #photography #documentary #photojournalism #reportage #webster #nikonpro #ronorp #keystone #photobastei #reverienrurangwa #ibuka #100days #ronorp #storytelling

Sunday, November 20, 2016

November 20th- The Universal Children's Day.

"On 20 November 1959 the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.[6] The United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1989 and can be found on the Council of Europe website". Wikipedia.
So, today marks the day- the idea is to protect the rights of the children, perhaps more important then ever before.
Although Rwanda is making much progress, there are still 3 million people without access to clean water at home.
These children are staying in temporary refugee camps placed randomly on top of Sinjar mountain. There are no immediate prospects for them in terms of moving back home as most of the Sinjar city, as well as surrounding villages, are largely destroyed since the area fell in August 2014. Sinjar was liberated in November 2015 but it is not really possible move back. 
#photography #documentary #photojournalism #reportage #webster #nikonpro #iraq #keystone #yazidi #refugee #sinjar #peshmerga #sinjarmountain #universalchildrensday #rwanda #humanrights #water #un

Sunday, October 16, 2016

World Food Day, October the 16th.

October the 16th is the World Food Day and FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United
Nations) have made the theme: "Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too". It makes me think of the recent trip I made to Abidjan, Ivory Coast where I met people researching food and farmers making the most of their crops through tradition but also further training. 
Coffee farmers in the Ivory Coast.
Meat market in Abidjan.
Food market in Abidjan.
Local shopkeeper in downtown Abidjan.
Mobile coffee sales person.
#worldfoodday #ivorycoast #abidjan #climatechange #meat #food #research #nestle #maggi #fao #un