The Nile Delta (Egypt) – October 2009
Among worldwide fear of imminent catastrophes due to climate change, analysts consider the Nile delta as a very vulnerable area. Scientists believe that its population will have to face in the future several problems especially related to sea level rise, salinization of water, demographic boom and the possible appearance of climate refugees. A riport from the Delta, a glance from the towns of Damietta, Balteem, Ras el-Bahr and Port Said, and an inner look at fishermen work in Lake Manzala.
Works at Maghen Abraham Synagogue in Wadi Abou Jamil district of Downtown Beirut seem on the way to be finished. The renovation of the synagogue began in the summer of 2009 after a popular call to preserve such stunning piece of history. The renovation works began almost secretly and were funded by private donors and from Solidere, owned by the family of the actual Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Here the synagogue before renovation works started. Memories of a not very far past. Again, memories (and warning) of what usually wars left behind. Beauty Destruction.
Beirut Synagogue / Lebanon
The synagogue of Beirut still testifies the presence of the very small Lebanese Jewish community. During the Lebanese civil war the synagogue was abandoned and occupied by Palestinian fighters. Located in Downtown Beirut, it is nowadays in ruin. Its renovation and preservation still represents a sensitive issue in Lebanon.
ELECTION DAY IN LEBANON (JUNE 2009)
Great expectation in Lebanon for the outcome of the general election in which the Lebanese had to elect the new country rulers, after four years of tough internal and external confrontations. The electoral round opposed the two blocks that, in their struggle for internal power, paralyzed the country for almost 4 years, leading the country almost to collapse and civil strife. On one side the March 14 block and on the other side the March 8 block, the so-called muarada, the opposition. However, Lebanese turned out massively to vote and decide the future of their country.
Conexión con el Informativo Más Voces (masvoces.org) sobre la huelga del 6 de abril en Egipto.
Conexión con el Informativo Más Voces (masvoces.org) sobre la situación en Líbano después de los enfrentamientos del mayo de 2008.
Conexión con el Informativo Más Voces (masvoces.org) sobre el asesinado del General del ejército libanes Michel Haji.
Conexión con el Informativo Más Voces (masvoces.org) sobre la crisis política en Líbano y el vacío presidencial.
29th Anniversary of Musa al-Sadr Disappearance / Baalbeck (Lebanon) – August 2007
On August 31, 2007, thousands of Shiite followers from the Amal and Hezbollah movement gathered in Baalbeck to commemorate the disappearance of former head of Amal movement Musa al-Sadr. Musa al-Sadr, along with two Lebanese companions, mysteriously disappeared in 1978 in a diplomatic mission in Libya. Its passport was found at Rome airport, but he supposedly never arrived in Italy. Libya rejected the accusation of being directly involved in the issue. The case is still under investigation by Lebanese authorities.[Riportag on the anniversary (in Italian)]
Antoine Ghanem Funeral / Beirut (Lebanon) – September 2007
THE EIGHTH MARTYR (SEPTEMBER 2007)
[Riportag on MP Antoine Ghanem assassination: article (Italian) / photoriportag ]
On September 2007, the umpteenth car bomb in Lebanon took the life of MP Antoine Ghanem, member of the 14th of March bloc and of the Kataeb party. Ghanem was soon labelled as the “Eighth Martyr”, with reference to the political assassinations that have been undergoing in Lebanon since the blast that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on February 14, 2005. The assassination took place few weeks before the planned Presidential elections. Despite mainstream media report that “huge crowd” participated at the funeral, only few hundreds people turned out in the street to mourn Ghanem.
“Ishak” tells the story of a Kurdish guy living in Ayazma, a gecekondu of Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul process of urban “modernization” supposes the destruction of the area and the reallocation of its inhabitants, mainly of Kurdish origins, in the new unfriendly and soviet-style “towers” located in a nearby area. The doc follows Ishak first trip to his family land, highlighting new generations lost of identity mainly due to process of forced migration.
(doc participation: ASSISTANT DIRECTOR; CONTENTS RESEARCH ON THE FIELD; POST-PRODUCTION ADVISER)
[Riportag on Ayazma gecekondu (photo/articles)]
Ayazma Gecekondu & TOKI / Istanbul (Turkey) – March 2007
In December 2006, Turkish authorities started the evacuation and destruction of the Ayazma gecekondu, an area located in the North East of Istanbul, as part of the urban modernization project of the capital. The authorities attempted to relocate the inhabitants of the gecekondu, mainly of Kurdish origins, into new buildings constructed by the private-public construction company TOKI. However, not all the people from Ayazma could find an agreement with the local authorities. The ones who moved to the so-called towers, felt instead as betrayed by local politicians.[Riportag on Ayazma/Toki (in Italian/Español)] ——————————————————————————————————————————————————
NEWROZ – CIZRE (2007)
Cizre is a town in the Turkish Kurdistan close to the border with Syria and Iraq. At the beginning of the 90’s it has been at the center of the fight between the Kurdish guerrilla of the PKK and the Turkish government. In those years, the celebration of the Newroz, the Kurdish New Year, was giving Kurds the opportunity to express their mistreated culture. But as still is nowadays, the celebrations also represent a joyful occasion for the community. These images were taken in Cizre, in 2007.
METN ELECTIONS – LEBANON (AUGUST 2007)
On August 2007, by-elections have been scheduled in Lebanon order to fill the parliament seats left vacant by two members of the majority previously assassinated: Pierre Gemayel and Walid Eido. The run for Pierre Gemayel seat in the Metn region provoked a fierce confrontation between the main Christian parties in order to show Lebanese the predominance within the sect. The opposition member finally won for few votes; as usual both parts claimed (and celebrated) the victory…
[Riportag on the election day (article/Italian)]
WALID EIDO FUNERAL – BEIRUT (JUNE 2007)
On June 13, 2007 a booby trapped car bomb placed on Beirut corniche, killed MP Walid Eido, his son and several other bystanders. The day after, shebeb from the mainly Sunni al-Moustaqbal movement massively turned out to bid farewell to Eido and his son. Walid Eido too, as the previous assassination targets, belonged to the 14th of March majority bloc.
Every year thousands of Shiites all around the world celebrate Ashura, a festivity to honour the martyrdom of the Imam Husayn, the grandson of Muhammad. Imam Husayn and his followers, cornered by the troops of Yazid, resisted until the tenth day, but then succumbed. On the tenth of Ashura, Shiites express their griefs to Husayn in different ways: performing a theatre piece, donating blood, hitting their chests. In the Southern Lebanese town of Nabatieh, the community followers still celebrate the festivity in its more traditional form; by hitting their head with a blade or a knife, provoking though a copious spilling of blood.
Ashura – Nabatieh (Lebanon)
// MUARADA // (DECEMBER 2006)
Few days after the assassination of Minister Pierre Gemayel, the Lebanese opposition, muarada, organized on December 1st a huge demonstration in Downtown Beirut in order to tear down Siniora government. Therefore, the muarada installed a no-end sit-in in order to achieve its goal, which will last only after almost one year an half, as consequence of the Doha Agreement of May 2008.
Beside the political connotation of the demonstration, the sit-in reproduced the situation staged by the then opposition after the assassination of Rafik Hariri, and which led to characterize a specific space of Downtown Beirut with a specific political force. Following the same logic, on December 1st 2006, the demonstration of the opposition aimed to conquer their own part of public space, thus publicly staging their own vision of the Lebanese nation.
THE DIVINE VICTORY (SEPTEMBER 2006)
In the aftermath of the 2006 July War between Hezbollah and Israel, the Lebanese movement celebrated its own “divine victory” in the Southern suburb of Beirut, al-dahya. The celebration marked the first public appearance of Hezbollah leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, since the beginning of the war.
JNOUB (AUGUST 2006)
In the summer of 2006, Southern Lebanon became a war-torned region after the month-long battle between the Tsahal, the Israel Defence Forces, and the Lebanese guerilla Hezbollah. Few days after the ceasefire the region presented a disarming landscape made of rubble, silence and gloom. This ride moved from the outskirts of Tyre, the capital of South Lebanon, toward Naqoura, passing by town and villages such as Qana, Siddiqine, Tibnine, Bint Jbeil, Ainata, Aita ech Chaab and Marwahine.
Bent Jbeil-Lebanon. Summer 2006
In the summer of 2006, Lebanon suffered of a tough war between Hezbollah and Israel. The 33days war was mainly battled in the South of Lebanon, a stunning landscape of orchards, valleys and mountains. Israeli air force massively bombed several Lebanese villages closed to the border. The town of Bent Jbeil was mainly reduced to rubble. At the end of the war both parts reclaimed the victory on the field. However, the more than one thousands civil casualties made their victory-claims as mere futility…
[Check the posts on harb tamouz, the July War (articles/Italian)]
HABITATEIN – MAR QUNEITRA
In June 1974, Israeli troops withdrew from the Syrian town of Quneitra after occupying it for almost 7 years. Before leaving, Israelis completely destroyed this town on the strategic Golan Heights. Syrians decided to make of the town an open-air museum, which became a pilgrimage site for Syrians and tourists. A desolated landscape, and a perfect habitat for cicadas…
Italians UNIFIL Troops Landing in Tyre (Lebanon) – September 2006
In the aftermath of the July War between Hezbollah and Israel, Italian troops landed in Tyre (Lebanon) in compliance with the UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which included the enlargement of the UNIFIL peacekeeping troops in South Lebanon. Italy took the lead of the reinforced peacekeeping mission. Italian troops landed in Tyre at a locally well-known beach resort which has been during the war the base for journalists and international correspondents. The high security measures around the classy resort implicitly mocked mainstream media use of epic tones for the disembark.[Riportag on the Italian Disembark in Tyre (in Italian)] ——————————————————————————————————————————————————
Al-Dahyya Area / Harb Tamouz / Beirut (Lebanon) – August 2006
Between July and August of 2006, the Southern area of Beirut was heavily bombed by the Israeli air forces. Al-Dahyya is known for being the headquarters of the Shiite Islamic movement Hezbollah. The massive one-month bombing left a panorama of rubble and destruction.
Jnoub Lubnan / Harb Tamouz / South Lebanon – August 2006
On July and August 2006, Hezbollah and Israel fought a tough one month war mainly on Lebanese soil. After one month, and just after the agreement over a cease-fire, the South of Lebanon appeared as a desolate and uninhabited area.[Riportag on South Lebanon few days after the ceasefire (in Italian) and Harb Tamouz] ——————————————————————————————————————————————————
First Anniversary of Rafik Hariri Assassination / Beirut (Lebanon) – February 2006
On February 14, 2006, the Lebanese gathered in Martyrs’ Square to celebrate the first anniversary of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The year before, Rafik Hariri was killed by a roadside bomb while passing through the Corniche stroll with its armoured cars. The bomb killed the former Prime Minister and around twenty persons more.[Riportag on the first anniversary (in Italian)] ——————————————————————————————————————————————————
Khiam Prison…how it was / Lebanon – June 2005
Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon in 2000, permitted to liberate the Lebanese people imprisoned in the infamous Khiam prison. The prison, after few years, was converted in an open air museum with the aim to remember the occupier’s atrocities on the local population. However, during the July war of 2006, Israel inexplicably bombed the location and destroyed the museum. After the war, a new museum was going to be organized at the same location.
Beirut Spring 2005 (…Summer and Autumn)
After former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri assassination on February 14, the Lebanese turned out in masses to condemn the assassination and asking for Syrian troops and intelligence apparatus out of Lebanon. The protest was soon labelled as the “Beirut Spring”, and officially Intifada al-Istiqlal. The historic momentum, that lead to Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, was soon replaced by a summer and autumn of political assassinations and destabilizing bombs mainly within the Beirut area.[Articles on Beirut Spring, Destabilizing Bombs, Samir Kassir Assassination, Gebran Tueni Assassination (in Italian)]