My heart is torn between East and West. I live somewhere between the present and the past. I don't know who I am.

Just another human being biding their time on this earth. Passionate about current affairs, history, politics (particularly MENA region), religion, cute animals and food.

Disclaimer: All photographs on this blog do not belong to me but to their rightful owners unless otherwise stated. All efforts have been made to link the material back to its original source. Please drop me a message if you see any of your material and would like to have it removed!
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Posts tagged "africa"


The statue of Ramesses the Great at the Temple of Abu Simbel in the process of being reassembled after needing to be relocated in 1976 to save it from the rising waters of the Nile. This structure was originally built under Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BCE.

Here’s a quick video made by UNESCO which gives some further information about the site.

Image via Wiki Commons.

For those with little knowledge of the historical context behind the above image, this story will no doubt sound fascinating. However, what you may not be aware of is the horrendous events that accompanied the relocation of the statue of Ramesses the Great and the temples surrounding it. More than 60 years ago, a military coup brought Gamal Abdel Nasser into power. Shortly after, the Colonel ordered the construction of a High Dam at Aswan to generate power, and regulate the seasonal flooding of the Nile. It was to be his signature national project.

The Aswan dam is remembered by most Egyptians as one of the former leader’s greatest accomplishments, a towering monument to the modernizing aspirations of an independent nation. But, for many Nubians living in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Aswan, the dam destroyed a way of life.

Compulsory immigration of Nubians started in 1902 when construction of the Aswan reservoir flooded more than 44 villages that were home to Egypt’s Nubians living in the area now known as old Nubia. When construction of the Aswan High Dam started in 1963, more than 60,000 Nubians were forced out of their homes to live in arid, desert lands north of Aswan away from the only life they knew. There was a much greater uproar over the Abu Simbel temples and other monuments of Pharaonic Egypt endangered by the dam’s encroaching reservoir than over the 600 or so Nubian villages being obliterated. Whilst the temples and the Ramesses statue were moved piece by piece to higher ground, the world paid no notice to the displacement of the Nubians and their plight. Till this day, they have received no compensation.

Partly submerged palms above Nile dam

Nubians have lived in Egypt for thousands of years and they have played a huge part in shaping its history and culture. Nubian Egypt, which stretches about 200 miles from the Sudanese border north to the city of Aswan, still carries with it distinct customs and a language that is close to becoming extinct. Most Nubians say that political leaders have failed them, never properly offering compensation for their lost land, let alone recognition of their existence in Egypt. Many complain of systemic discrimination at the hands of Arabs who’ve denied them jobs and government posts in the region, relegating them to a mere servant class. They’ve been continuously ignored, discriminated against and neglected. When will we stop overlooking the great contributions that Nubians have made and still make in Egypt? When will we begin to recognise and indeed, accept them as an integral and valuable part of Egyptian society? When will they be compensated?

Photo: Partly submerged palms above Nile dam. The first Aswan dam completed in 1902 submerged parts of Egyptian Nubia. The Aswan High Dam, completed in 1971, flooded Nubian land along 500 kilometres of the Nile. Groves of date palms and 45 Nubian villages disappeared underwater. (Stereo-Travel Co., date 1908/Brooklyn Museum Archives.)

(via ondaroof)

  • Egyptian Fencer Abouelkassem wins silver medal in the Men’s Individual Foil Fencing Finals:

LONDON: Egypt clinched its first London Games medal on Tuesday, Egyptian fencer Alaaeldin Abouelkassem winning the silver after a narrow 15-13 defeat by China’s Sheng Leii in the final of the men’s individual foil.

Abouelkassem, who had to carry on with an injury after hurting his arm in the first period, gave Egypt its first medal since Judoka Hesham Mesbah won the bronze four years ago in Beijing. It is also Africa’s first fencing medal in history.

He came within a whisker of clinching gold after leading 13-11 in the third period but Leii roared back to emerge the winner in a tough contest.

Earlier in the day, Abouelkassem from Egyptian coastal city Alexandria reached the final following a 15-12 victory over South Korea’s Byungchul Choi. He also overcame former world champions Peter Joppich of Germany and world number one Andrea Cassara of Italy en route to the final.

It is Egypt’s first silver medal since Judoka Mohamed Rashwan’s triumph in the 1984 Los Angeles Games. It is also the country’s 25th Olympic medal in history.

The 21-year-old has broken into the top 10 on the Federation International d’Escrime point rankings in the last two seasons.

Eighth in the world, he did come tantalizingly close to a semi-final in the 2010 Paris world championships where he took sixth.

Abouelkassem trained in Alexandria before the London Games opened instead of Cairo as the capital was in political upheaval in the wake of the Arab Spring which led to the ousting of president Hosni Mubarak in 2011 after 30 years in power.

Brother from another mother has made Egypt proud today - thank you for the skill, the perseverance, the hope and the sheer inspiration that you’ve brought to this game <3

There is no African, myself included, who does not appreciate the help of the wider world, but we do question whether aid is genuine or given in the spirit of affirming one’s cultural superiority. My mood is dampened every time I attend a benefit whose host runs through a litany of African disasters before presenting a (usually) wealthy, white person, who often proceeds to list the things he or she has done for the poor, starving Africans. Every time a well-meaning college student speaks of villagers dancing because they were so grateful for her help, I cringe. Every time a Hollywood director shoots a film about Africa that features a Western protagonist, I shake my head — because Africans, real people though we may be, are used as props in the West’s fantasy of itself. And not only do such depictions tend to ignore the West’s prominent role in creating many of the unfortunate situations on the continent, they also ignore the incredible work Africans have done and continue to do to fix those problems.

-Uzodinma Iweala, “Stop Trying to ‘Save’ Africa”

(via the-northafrican)

Aisha’s Song: a short film.

'Partially blinded by an unknown illness aged 4 and sent out to work on the tough streets of Kano in Nigeria aged 9, Aisha Sani Abdullahi's life chances were not great. However, a chance encounter sent Aisha's life in a completely different direction. 

Beautifully shot and musically lush, Aisha’s Song is a touching and uplifting story of female empowerment from a part of the world where women are all too often overlooked.’

The film was made for Girl Hub and to find out more about some of the issues at the heart of the film please go to:

Film Credits:
Director / Producer Orlando von Einsiedel
Cinematographer Franklin Dow
Editors Peta Ridley & Katie Bryer
Composer Patrick Jonsson
Assistant Producer Patrick Vernon
Executive Producers Ben Gallagher, Jumoke Adekunle, Mark Sanderson & Jon Drever

Solitude, Kamakwie, Sierra Leone

"Solitude can be found in a crowd. When visiting an adult literacy group in Kamakwie, Sierra Leone, I came across a room where most learners had formed pairs or small groups to work but one young lady had chosen to separate herself in order to concentrate."

By: Laura Cook



Images of Africa from the Albert-Kahn Museum Collection.

Country of origin (clockwise):

  1. Algeria
  2. Morocco
  3. Benin
  4. Djibouti
  5. Egypt
  6. Benin
  7. Morocco


(via ondaroof)

Farewell, Rwanda

Sadly saying my goodbyes on my last day in Rwanda, I was overwhelmed by the children running down the hill after me shouting, ‘Bye bye… Bye bye!’ Turning around one last time to wave, I took my final photo. A shutter speed of 1/80 and a large aperture (5.6) captured a sense of hurried movement among the frozen smiles of the two young boys.”

By: Katrina Struthers

Mbukushu Mother and Child, Okavango River, Botswana

"A Mbukushu mother and child cross Botswana’s Okavango River, whose seasonal floods bring life to a parched land."

By: Frans Lanting

That’s what I call a smile, Menaka, northern Mali

"These two absolutely lovely girls were two of a billion kids in a Bella family I interviewed outside of Menaka, in northern Mali. They are standing right by the family’s small granary for fonio, a tiny kind of millet, which they collect by hand where it grows wild.

Fonio is one of the most important cereals in West Africa, and I believe all the way across the continent to Sudan and Ethiopia. The grains are tiny, tiny, and people spend enormous amounts of time first collecting, and then removing the husk. This family would generally eat a meal consisting mainly of fonio per day, to try to make it through to the next harvesting season without having to purchase grains.”

By Emilia Tjernström

Feeding Time, Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya

An Endangered Rothschild Giraffe enjoys being fed by a girl at Giraffe Manor in Kenya

By: Robin Moore


Peekers at Bofina Pub, Bujagali Falls, Kybira Village, Uganda

"Children peeking into pub."

By: Leslie Alsheimer


Gold Miner, Mozambique

Photograph by Robin Hammond, Panos

The glowing hues of dusk bathe a mud-splattered gold miner in the border province of Manica. The area draws scores of workers from neighboring Zimbabwe who pan for traces of the precious metal in turbid waters.

Animal Reflections,  Aberdare national park, Nyandarua District, Ndaragwa, Kenya

A dawn descent to the watering hole in Aberdare national park, under the watchful gaza of Mount Kenya”

By: Libby Powell


Precious water by daveblume on Flickr.

ANGOLA: Child stands under a tap with water barely trickling out through it.

This is so painful to look at.

The Birth of South Sudan: Friday, July 9th 2011 witnesses the birth of a new nation, the Republic of South Sudan. People celebrate after voting for independence in a referendum under a peace deal that ended decades of war.

The Republic of South Sudan has become the world’s newest nation by officially breaking away from Sudan after two civil wars and over five decades of conflict with the north. It is the 193rd country recognised by the UN.

A mood of joy and celebration swept through its capital Juba at midnight on Friday, with scenes of jubilation and sounds of church bells ringing.

Thousands of people gathered with friends and family on the streets singing, dancing, banging drums and honking horns in celebration.  

The main ceremony on Saturday is due to include military parades, prayers, raising the newly proclaimed republic’s flag and Salva Kiir, the country’s first president, signing the transitional constitution.