Category: Middle East

  • The Jewish synagoge of Qamishlo in Syria

    On one of my recent trips to the Kurdish self-administered parts of Syria – better known as ‘Rojava’ – my local fixer told me something very interesting. According to him, there was a Jewish synagogue, a graveyard, and perhaps even a small community of Jews left in Qamishlo. After some research, we were quite certain […]

  • 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 […]

  • The former US embassy in Tehran, Iran

    Recently, I was taking a stroll around central Tehran, when I found out by accident, that the former US embassy site, which was the focus of the world for 444 days during a hostage crisis, has been turned into a public museum! This is the first time since the embassy was stormed by students 38 […]

  • Hezbollah’s Ashura in Beirut

    On October 12th, tens of thousands of people gathered for Ashura in Beirut, the highest holiday in Shia Islam. As usual, the ceremonies take place in the Shia suburbs or Beirut, where the Shia party Hezbollah, has its headquarters and strongholds. Ashura is a memorial day to remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, dying alongside […]

  • The Jewish cemetery of Cairo, Egypt

    One of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the world is located in Cairo, the capital of Egypt. Before Israel was founded, Egypt had a flourishing Jewish community. Now the community is believed to consist of no more than 30 to 40 people, all of them living in Cairo and Alexandria. Each of these cities still […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Lalish – Yazidis’ home

    I recently visited Lalish, the center of the Yazidi religion that came to fame after the Islamic state persecuted the approximately 650.000 members of this ancient religion in Iraq. Lalish can be easily visited from Duhok with a taxi, it takes about 30 to 40 minutes to get there. The valley is especially beautiful and […]

  • German Army training the Peshmerga in the Kurdistan Training Coordination Center

    Today I visited the German army a second time in the Zeravani compound east of Erbil to do an update about the training they do for the Peshmerga. I visited them the first time last year around this month. The German army press spokesperson says that they have stepped up the limit of German forces […]

  • A visit to Halabja

    Today I visited the city of Halabja in Kurdistan, Iraq. A city that came to unexpected fame on March 16th 1988, when it was heavily gassed with chemical agents by the Iraqi air force. Approximately up to 5000 Kurdish people died in the attack. In 2016, the city remains a conservative PUK stronghold merely 10 […]