The War Zone Freelance Exhibition in Berlin

On March 18, my friends and colleagues over at the War Zone Freelance Exhibition opened their newest exhibition in the venues of the Sprechsaal in Berlin, Germany. They show the work they have done over the years from countries like Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, or Jordan. The exhibition also includes various footage from their journeys and stresses the important work of translators and fixers, whom we journalists are in close relation with in order to do our job. On Thursday, they will have a panel discussion on how the media deals with graphic footage from war zones. If you can, go …

A day with the lifesavers of Sea-Watch

Today I was invited to spend a day with the lifesavers of Sea-Watch from Germany to document their important work. They are stand-by 24/7 to guard the coast of Lesbos in Greece to find and rescue refugee boats coming from Turkey. Without their endeavours, a lot more names would be on the list of people that have drowned and died and unnecessary death in the Aegean Sea, trying to find refuge in Europe.

The martyr’s cemetery of Hezbollah in Beirut

If you are interested in Lebanon’s main Shia party and you happen to be in Beirut, make sure to check out the main cemetery of martyrs in Beirut. In Arabic it’s called “روضة الشهيدين“, which means “Place of two martyrs” in English. Many of the party’s fighters have died during the 2006 war with Israel, and since secretary general Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah decided to send his troops to battle in Syria alongside with Al-Assad’s troops, the number of martyrs quickly increased. The whole cemetery is quite big, yet these photos only show the roofed main hall, where many prominent members …

The Jewish cemetery of Beirut, Lebanon

Welcome to the Jewish cemetery in Beirut, Lebanon.  Many visitors of Beirut would never think that this city actually has a very old Jewish cemetery, which is located right on Sodeco square near the district of Ashrafiyeh. The cemetery is closed off to the public since many years, but it is possible to see some of the tombstones from Damascus road from the outside. Even the head of the Jewish committee in Lebanon, Isaac Arazi (who lives in France permanently) is not allowing any visitors inside, so I was really lucky to get these shots.   The cemetery is generally …

Baalbek, Lebanon

The city of Baalbek (Arabic: “بعلبك“) in Lebanon is situated right in the heart of the Bekaa valley. Baalbek is a predominantly Shia city with roughly 80.000 inhabitants. Most foreign visitors visit Baalbek for its massive Roman ruins. The city is a stronghold of Hezbollah and features one of the country’s most beautiful mosques, called Sayyeda Khawla. Khawla (السيدة خولة بنت الحسي) was a daughter of Imam Hussein and is allegedly buried in this mosque. The mosque is an example of Iranian Islamic architecture, because it was built with Iranian money. The mosque is open for interested non-Muslims as well …

The ruins of Anjar, Lebanon

The city of Anjar, or “عنجر” in Arabic, is situated in the Beqaa valley, not even ten kilometres away from the border to Syria. Anjar used to be a big city during the Umayyad period, and has been preserved as a UNESCO world heritage site since 1984.

Tripoli, Lebanon

Tripoli, or “Trablus” in Arabic, is my favourite city in Lebanon. It is the only city in this country that has a proper souk, people speak Arabic without using French or English at the same time and it’s a much more genuine and authentic city than for example Beirut. You can get amazing food for very affordable prices and the old city is very beautiful, and similar to Syrian cities like Aleppo. Don’t miss the big mosque of Tripoli, the Mansouri mosque, or the Hamams in this city, that are being renovated at the moment. One Hamam is still functional …

Mleeta, the touristic landmark of Hezbollah

My first time at this place was in summer 2010, shortly after it was opened by Hezbollah. Situated in the mountains bordering Israel to the east, Mleeta serves as a public relation platform and showcase for the Shia organisation in Lebanon. In contrary to my first visit five years ago, the place looks very much deserted now, but still attracts visitors, domestic and foreign. On the day the pictures were taken, a big tourist group from Sudan visited Mleeta. They also made a few changes to the exhibition, adding a few drones and Israeli spy devices that have been found …