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Ostblog Posts

Hope and repression – A weekend at the protests in Minsk

Peaceful protests and police violence, hope and fear, courage and apathy – on my trip to Minsk, I encountered the different shades of Belarus in turmoil. While the young generation seems like a guarantee for change, there is a danger that apathy might return to Belarus. Supermarkets where you could…

Rebuilding a Christian town after liberation from ISIS

Ahmed is an architect who came back to his hometown of Bartella to help rebuild it. The city had been recently liberated from ISIS amid fierce fighting, leaving most buildings bullet-ridden and heavily damaged. Most of the largely Christian population, including Ahmed fled to nearby Kurdistan before ISIS extremists took…

Back from the UK to find your homeland attacked by ISIS and stifled by corruption

Soran from Erbil (Iraqi Kurdistan) moved to the UK in 2000. He wanted to avoid military service in the Iraqi army, which apparently was like hell on earth for Kurds at the time. According to Soran, Iraqi generals used to send Kurdish conscripts to the most dangerous posts, and many…

Selling fruit for work and dressing like an English gentleman for leisure

Adnan, who earns his money selling fruit in the centre of Erbil, is really into dressing sharp. In his free time he likes to go shopping, pose in a suit, tie and pocket square, and upload his shots on social media. There has been a movement of guys dressing like…