All my ‘Moments’ from August 2011

 

As August comes to an end, and here in the Middle East Muslims are celebrating Eid al-Fitr now that Ramadan has concluded, I’m sharing all the daily ‘moments’ from this past month that I’ve posted on my Facebook page. Since the last instalment, I’ve continued to be based in Egypt, where I’ve mostly been doing humanitarian photography for Save the Children (see my last journal entry for more on this). Many of my ‘moments’ have been drawn from this work, conducted in the village of Borg-Meghezil) and the nearby town of Rashid (Rosetta) on the Mediterranean coast. The rest come from my meanderings along the backstreets of Cairo’s old city, known as ‘Islamic Cairo‘, where I enjoy poking my nose (and lens) into seldom glimpsed corners. This whole area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site owing to its many historically important mosques and other Islamic monuments, but I find it especially fascinating for the life that continues to go on here much as it has for hundreds of years.

You can view my gallery of images from August by clicking the image below. If you like any of them enough to want to share your approval with friends on Facebook, you can use the shortened URL below the image in the Lightbox to take you there. All images are also available for purchase in the form of downloads, prints and greetings cards. You can also send then as free eCards. If you’d like to leave a comment, please feel free to do so on THIS page – just scroll to the bottom.

20110831 IMG12489 All my Moments from August 2011

CLICK ABOVE to go to the gallery.

 

Save the Children – Humanitarian photography update from Egypt

 

It’s been a while since I last wrote, and it’s been a busy time for me. During the past six weeks or so, I’ve been working with Save the Children (UK)‘s Egypt office to develop communications material for its Irregular Migration of Minors programme. If you are a fan of my Facebook page or follow my tweets, you will doubtless have seen some of my images from this assignment already. Today, I’m happy to be able to share some of the official releases of my work here, proudly carrying the Save the Children logo, as well as that of the European Union (EU), the programme’s funder.

Save the Children European Union funded irregular migration project Giant posters Save the Children   Humanitarian photography update from Egypt

Poster created for Save the Children’s Irregular Migration of Minors programme.

Along with its project partners Save the Children (Italy) and an Egyptian NGO called the Youth Association for Population and Development (YAPD), Save the Children (UK) is seeking to identify and promote alternatives to the undocumented and illegal migration of young Egyptians – often children – to Southern Europe via its Mediterranean coast. The cost of such a journey can be financially crippling for these youths’ families, and the risks involved are grave. Many suffocate while crammed into tiny spaces below deck, or else drown in the final desperate swim to the shore (one recent calamity is documented in this news article). Others are simply cheated and deposited further along the Egyptian coast and told that they’ve reached Italy. Even if they make it safely to Europe, many further challenges await them, signalling an abrupt end to their childhood.

Save the Children’s approach to this problem is based on youth mobilisation, skill building, community response and encouraging state and non-state institutions to develop policies and practices that empower and enable those who may consider ‘irregular migration’ to improve their living standards in Egypt so as to reduce the risk that they will leave. Two-metre-tall prints of the posters shown here, above and immediately below, were used around the venue of a conference entitled ‘Empowering Young People to Reduce Irregular Migration’ held in Cairo this week for CEOs and corporate social responsibility (CSR) professionals.

Save the Children European Union funded irregular migration project Giant poster Save the Children   Humanitarian photography update from Egypt

Posters created for Save the Children’s Irregular Migration of Minors programme.

I have been working alongside Save the Children and YAPD staff, who have introduced me to children from coastal villages (particularly Borg-Meghezil), young men who had returned from working illegally in Europe and parents whose children are either in Europe now or died trying to get there. Through my photography, I have sought to capture both the essence of the problem of irregular migration – particularly the push factors that lead young people to flee in such numbers – but also the hopes of children and their families for better future prospects.

I have also had the chance to indulge the travel photographer in me, as I have paid a couple of visits to the town of Rashid (Rosetta), famed for the discovery of the ‘Rosetta Stone‘, which helped Egyptologists unlock the code of hieroglyphics. This place is brimming with potential as a tourist destination, with beautifully restored Ottoman era buildings, a tranquil and picturesque waterfront and a bustling traditional market, yet there is hardly a tourist in sight. Save the Children is presenting this as an opportunity for CSR investment. Rashid is just a short hop from several villages that send many minors to Europe illegally. The prospect of a career in tourism may provide a firm incentive to stay home. Of the five postcards below, the last one comes from the material I have produced for this particular campaign.

Save the Children European Union funded irregular migration project All postcards Save the Children   Humanitarian photography update from Egypt

Postcards created for campaign work by Save the Children’s Irregular Migration of Minors programme. Click anywhere above if you want to be able to read the text – it will open in a larger size and you will be able to zoom in for a closer look.

Stay tuned for more from this work on these pages, as it is still ongoing. On 2nd September, for example, I added two photo essays, ‘Irregular migration, the problem (Save the Children)’ and ‘Irregular migration, an alternative through CSR (Save the Children)&#8217.

 

All my ‘Moments’ from June and July 2011

 

Rather than post my daily ‘moments’ week by week, I’ve decided to share a gallery once a month. I figure this will prove a little less spam-like for those of you who’ve subscribed to my journal and receive updates via e-mail. So here you have your first monthly instalment, which includes both June (half a month) and July. Over this time, I’ve been based in Cairo, Egypt. The majority of the images I’ve shared since I started the ‘Moment of the Day’ feature on my Facebook page have come from life on the streets of Africa’s most populous city.

However, I recently started working with Save the Children (UK), documenting their work in various governorates that border the Mediterranean Sea. Funded by a grant from the European Union, the NGO is busy with initiatives oriented towards reducing levels of undocumented ‘irregular’ migration from Egypt’s Northern shores to Southern Europe. My most recent ‘moments’ are drawn from this work in the village of Borg-Meghezil and the town of Rashid, from where thousands of boys and young men climb onto boats every year, after handing over upwards of US$ 8,000 to unscrupulous people smugglers, in the hope of making their fortunes overseas.

You can view my gallery of images from June by clicking the left-hand image below, and from July by clicking the image to the right. If you like any of them enough to want to share your approval with friends on Facebook, you can use the shortened URL below the image in the Lightbox to take you there. All images are also available for purchase in the form of downloads, prints and greetings cards. You can also send then as free eCards. If you’d like to leave a comment, please feel free to do so on THIS page – just scroll to the bottom.

20110629 IMG 6713 All my Moments from June and July 2011
CLICK ABOVE for June 2011
20110720 IMG11172 All my Moments from June and July 2011
CLICK ABOVE for July 2011