A landfill bringing Iraqis together, one garbage truck at a time

Many people probably never ask themselves where all the garbage in a city like Erbil ends up. Since there is no power or recycling plant to take care of it, it gets collected and ends up on a fairly big landfill just outside of Kurdistan’s capital. When my colleague Florian Neuhof recently told me about this place, I went there to check it out myself. I had an interest in this place also for the fact that my very first story as a photojournalist was the community of the Christian garbage collectors of Egypt’s capital Cairo. To my surprise, people …

The Jewish cemetery of Khartoum, Sudan

Very close to the central bus station, south of Souq al-Araby, Khartoum still has a tiny Jewish cemetery. The graveyard features no more than maybe 40-50 graves, many of them are in dire shape. The cemetery is located in an area of Khartoum that has a lot of car workshops. The workshops use the cemetery as a scrapyard and as a place to store their spare parts. The newest grave dates back to the forties, before Sudan became independent in 1956. At its peak, Sudan hosted 500-1000 Jews mostly living in Khartoum and Omdurman. There is another cemetery in Omdurman, …

The cemetery “Behesht-e Zahra” in Tehran, Iran

The central cemetery of Iran’s capital Tehran, is not only the biggest cemetery of the country, but also one of the biggest cemetery of the world. It is the final resting place to approximately 1.3 mio. people, and lies in the very south of the city. The following photo gallery is supposed to give you a general idea of the place, and the special buildings it hosts. There are isolated sections for the martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war, sections for Iranians martyred during the Hajj to Mekka,  defenders of Islam, Iraqi-Kurdish victims of the 1988 gas attacks on Halabja, and …

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 …

Oscar Niemeyer Fair in Tripoli, Lebanon

Last weekend I visited Tripoli in Northern Lebanon again, this time to take a full afternoon and admire the beauty of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer’s legacy in Lebanon. Niemeyer built a fair for the city, and construction was about to be finished within the next years, when the civil war in Lebanon started and halted any further progress. Today, about 15 buildings are still standing.

A visit to Tyre, Lebanon

Tyre, or “Sur”, as it is called in Arabic, is a big city in the south of Lebanon and was heavily damaged in the 2006 war with Israel. Nowadays, Sur has a thriving little souk, roman baths and the remains of what used to be a “circus maximus” from the Roman era. Right next to the archaeological site is one of Lebanons smallest Palestinian camps, Al Bass refugee camp.

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 …