This is Bahgdad, too. The photos are from the Facebook page “Republic of Baghdad“.
This is Bahgdad, too. The photos are from the Facebook page “Republic of Baghdad“.
Women of Egypt Women of Egypt is dedicated to showing the world different sides of Egyptian women, outside the box of the regular ones in Western media.
Please let me take the opportunity to introduce them to you. The captions are the group’s own.
“1956 seven beauty queens across the republic were crowned, competitions in Alexandria, Cairo, Beni Suef and other cities.”
“Military training for Egyptian girls in the 60s”
“Folk dancers Farida Fahmy and Mahmoud Reda”
Photo credits: Women in Egypt
IS announcing their rule
IS are facing setbacks, pushed back by mainly the moderate Syrian opposition. One of the areas liberated from IS Tishrin Dam, a dam that supplies areas in Northern Syria; Syrian Kurdistan, with water. It was the Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition group of different factions fighting the Syrian regime, that were able to capture the dam from IS, making them loose a strategic position.
An international group that is dedicated to the reconstruction of Kobane and areas that were destroyed by IS, Kobanê Reconstruction Board, recently went to visit Tishrin dam, and the member Hawzhin Azeez, also the woman behind the page The Middle Eastern Feminist, shared these photos and allowed them to be republished here. The only photos not republished are those portraying corpses. This is Hawzhin Azeez’s description of the visit:
“I am sharing some late images of Tishrin dam when we visited a few days after its liberation. Tishrin was liberated on the 26th of December by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SYD) after being under Daesh control for over two years.
Tishrin is an incredible dam, not least of all because of the fact that it sits cradled in a beautiful lush valley, in an otherwise dry and arid land. But also because of what Tishrin implies for the people of Rojava who have survived for the past two years under incredible economic and political conditions, exacerbated significantly by lack of access to water and electricity which Tishrin provides.
Tishrin dam’s 6 water turbines can be seen here
Daesh’s terrorism extended to not only physical violence and terror but also a deliberate and comprehensive policy of destroying or taking key infrastructure and service buildings. Make no mistake Daesh is a great strategist and despite issues with the lower rank terrorists the organisation has caused significant and long term damage to Rojava through its calculated infrastructural damage. This also included extensive placement of hand made booby traps, mines and other unexploded ordinances.
Booby trap making supplies
Inside Tishrin, Daesh had created an “education center” for children- literally a terrorist training centre, including small child sized Qurans. One of the pamphlets left over detailed the fact that members could take any women among the population so long as they received the emir’s permission.
The children’s training room
Another notable room was the “Palace Room” where the Emir would receive his guests, a grand room that now lay tattered following the fierce battle to liberate Tishrin.
The palace room
Tishrin city, now resembling an eerie ghost town, was empty of the Emirs and their families and supporters. On the streets children’s bikes, baby strollers and even passports lay scattered. The only reminder across the dam and the city was painted black signs of Dash flag but also, the dozens of dead Daesh bodies (luckily they did not smell too much as they were still relatively fresh corpses but also because of the cold winter) across the streets and the city. In one of the streets there were remnant of booby trap making supplies left.
Finally, at the end of the tour of the city we came across an Arab family, who tentatively came forward initially and then proceeded to hug and kiss us. The family had three daughters, two in early 20s and one that was perhaps no older than 15. The mother told us that she had hid her daughters for over two years in the basement of her house in fear of them being taken by Daesh. I hugged the girls who smiled back shyly as the hevals checked the village homes for remaining Daesh members. Their sweet shyness hid what horrors they may have experienced or what they had to do to survive under the two long years their family was terrorised by Daesh. The hevals told us that they had found a Daesh member, who claimed to be only a driver for Daesh hiding under a car the afternoon before.
A few days after our visit Daesh had launched a second offensive in a futile attempt to recapture the dam. Many have died defending her, but liberating Tishrin has brought Rojava a significant and decisive step forward towards consolidating her revolutionary goals and objectives. We are working hard to ensure that Tishrin provides services again asap to the people of Kobane and Rojava. For us, Tishrin represents and symbolises hope and life, liberation and self-sufficiency.”
Control room of the dam
The Kobanê Reconstruction Board having lunch with the engineers of Tishrin who had continued to run the dam under IS. The visiting group were asked not to show the faces of the men for security reasons.
Photo copyrights: Hawzhin Azeez
War may torment larger parts of Syria and the Middle East, but few signs of the beautiful country that once was and in some places still is, exists and pops up like butterflies here and there. One of them is the Facebook page All About Damascus, a page that started before the war, in 2010, and that is still going strong.
Today, on July 13, the page uploaded a few photos from the every day life in the colourful city of Damascus, the life that is still going on despite the war.
In the politicised debate over Syria, some might say this page is a part of the regime’s propaganda to show that they are able to reign over some parts of the country, that they are able to keep some of the city calm. But I would prefer to say it might as well be a sign of normal life. A sign to remind of what life that can remain during the dirtiest of wars.
Photo copyrights: All About Damascus Facebook page
Dark times have been prevailing lately. I have commented on it in previous posts and decided it was time for another type of comment. Let me remind us all of the beauty that exists in the world, that the world is not only darkness but also light. Here are photos of some beautiful places in the region that I like the most, the Middle East.
Iraqi Kurdistan in spring
Iraqi Kurdistan in winter
Jordan valley in spring, Jordan
Kuwait city at night time
Photo credit and photo copy rights: Abdulrahman Ali and Sweden and the Middle East Views
Women from the Gulf are not very common in media and an ordinary image of a Gulf woman is her dressed in nikab and abaya, not doing anything in particular.
My Kuwaiti friend who is so dedicated in showing the world different sides of the Gulf shared these photos with me. The explanations for the photos is from him and I have sometimes found more information about a certain person myself. He himself doesn’t have copyright has but downloaded them from different websites and shared them via his own social media. Therefore the copyright is unknown.
Enjoy the view of different beautiful women in different aspects of life.
Ibtisam Lufti, Saudi Arabian singer. Ibtisam belonged to the first generation of Saudi singers and achieved great success and popularity despite her handicap of being blind. Her main career took place in the 1970s and -80s and when announcing that she was leaving the scene it caused a public outrcry. Ibtisam is portrayed in the book “Women of Saudi Arabia” by Ali Fagandash. Year of the photo unknown.
Oman, late 1970s.
Aisha Al Marta, Kuwaiti singer, performing for women at a Kuwaiti wedding. Aisha is the third women from the left in the backrow. She was a Kuwaiti singer, born in 1934. Also Aisha was blind, she lost her sight at age 7. She joined a music group at age 14, secretely so as not to have any problems with her family. Later on she worked at Radio Kuwait and became an extremely popular folklore singer, performing traditional songs from the Gulf, famous for her patriotic songs. When she died in 1978 appearantly a national day of mourning was called for, and still “Aisha Al Marta” cultural events in her honor are being held in Kuwait. A Youtube video with Aisha you can see here. Year of the photo unknown.
Woman from Al Hijaz region, Saudi Arabia. Year unknown.
Women from Jaizan province, Saudi Arabia. Notice the difference in clothing between the women in this photo and the woman in the previous one.
There was a Kuwait even before the American troops went in 1991 to kick out the Iraqi occupiers. Kuwait is a source to a rich culture and heritage: it contained different tribes with different traditions, music and tales, beduoins living off the sea where they were fishing for food and pearls that they traded in one of their many travels around the Gulf region. But much of it has gotten lost to the outside world. What many foreigners see in Kuwait is the many fastfood restaurants and the malls that popped up en masse after the Americans came in and stayed on.
A Kuwaiti friend of mine is dedicated to show the Kuwaiti culture and it’s from him that I have received these photos. He doesn’t have the copyright he has himself received them through social websites, so I decided to share them on. The descriptions of the photos are from my friend.
Kuwaiti traider with dependents, 1930s
Bedouin weaving, year unknown
Photo copyrights: unknown
Photographs is a great way for knowing something that was without having been there.
Agricultural memory of Palestine is a Facebook page dedicated to show the world the agricultural heritage of Palestine through photos. Their shared images range from late 1800s up until the 1960s, and show men and women working in the fields and on the markets in the cities. The page were happy for me to write about them as they want to share their photos with the world. This is how they describe themselves:
“Our belief in the need to maintain the Palestinian memory, our goal is to strengthen the identity and belonging to the homeland and the cause. Through the page ‘Agricultural Memory of Palestine’ we highlight the heritage and agricultural history as part of an important and original aspect of our culture and the Palestinian identity.”
So what did Palestine once look like? Have a tour among the shared memories.
Girls in Betlehem, 1890.
Peasants in Ramallah collecting water, 1900.
Betlehem market, 1931.
Ber Sheva halal market in the 1960s.
Girls, place and year unknown.
Photo copyrights: facebook.com/agriculture.memory