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Photographers

ED KASHI

Based in New York City

Portfolio

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    One of the least reported cultural stories in the Middle East today involves the plight of Arab Christians—some eight million people living mostly in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq. These are the remnants of indigenous Holy Land communities dating back 2,000 years who were among the first Christians in history. Their culture is ancient, distinctive, and colorful, shaped by their remarkable ability to survive the upheavals of Middle Eastern history. Yet Arab Christians are now in danger of vanishing from the region altogether, driven out by a rising tide of religious and political extremism. Attacks on Christians are up dramatically from a decade ago, prompting a huge wave of out-migration. Besides uprooting families and communities, this trend is also having an adverse impact on the Arab world: Christians tend to be the best educated and most modernized citizens of their home lands—the progressive voices in the political arena as well as successful merchants and traders. In short, the people Arab society can least afford to lose. This story looks at the Arab Christians in the Levant; Israel, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. Street life in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Damascus.
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    Joining the out-migration of over 40% of Iraq’s Christian population, Faraj Ibrahim Hermez, his wife Suhaila, and their ten children were driven from their home in Kirkuk by continuous death and kidnapping threats against their family. Resettled in the Bouchrieh district of Beirut, return to their community in northeast Iraq is doubtful.
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    Overview of daily life in Baghdad, Iraq, in November 2003. U.S. Military Police oversee the installation of protective barriers at the Al Maamun police station in Baghdad.
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    BJ Jackson, an American veteran who was wounded in Iraq, with his wife Abigail, 22, and two daughters Brilynn, 4 and Hailey, 2, in his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa. Here he is pictured in bed with his family and getting up to put on his prosthetic legs.
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    The U. S. Army's 106th Transportation Battalion is responsible for logistical support for Gulf War II. ©Ed Kashi / 2003 The HETS of the 106th battalion lead a convoy of 96 vehicles into Iraq.
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    The Golden Quadrilateral Highway project is one of India's largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects ever. It was started in the mid-1990's and the plan is for it to be finished by 2007. It will connect the four major cities of India together with a super highway; New Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay) and Chennai (Madras). This project is a metaphor for how India is entering the 21st century and modernizing itself to be a dominant player in the global economy. Scenes along a highway in Bombay leading out to the Golden Quadrilateral highway. There is tremendous poverty along this stretch of the highway.
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    Scenes from the 2001 Senior Olympics in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In fifteen years, the Senior Olympics has grown from a modest experiment to a national phenomenon drawing more than 12 000 athletes in dozens of events. Part of the success of the Senior Olympics is competition among athletes of the same age group. A sprinter crosses the finish line during a track event.
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    Scenes from the 2001 Senior Olympics in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In fifteen years, the Senior Olympics has grown from a modest experiment to a national phenomenon drawing more than 12 000 athletes in dozens of events. Part of the success of the Senior Olympics is competition among athletes of the same age group. A pole vaulter in the 70+ category defies gravity.
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    Settlers perform ritual ablutions in an ancient spring near the village. Because this spring was once also used by local Palestinians, security is tight. Defying national and international political pressure and security concerns, Orthodox Jewish settlers continue to build new religious communities on contested land in Israel's West Bank.
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    Straddling crossroads of trade for 4,500 years, the ancient city of Aleppo, with its hilltop Citadel, avoided demolition plans and was named a World Heritage spot by UNESCO in 1986. The refurbished Citadel is one of Aleppo's main attractions for both foreign and local tourists.
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    In Cairo, people from the housing shortage have laid claim to the city's main cemetery. Over a million people live, work, shop and go to school in and among the mausoleums. It is a thriving necropolis where the sanctity of the dead coexists with the needs of the living. A glass factory is one of the many small industries that thrive in the cemetery.
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    A record of daily life for the Protestant community of Northern Ireland in 1989. Children play around an impromptu bonfire in The Fountain, a Loyalist housing estate by the ancient walls and cathedral of Londonderry.
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    A record of daily life for the Protestant community of Northern Ireland in 1990. Spectators in the crowd of an Orange march in East Belfast. The Protestant celebrations are not always fun and play, with the hard life of the working class reflected in some of the faces.
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    Nightlife and the cultural scene in reunified Berlin, 1991. A worker moves some of the props at the DEFA, or German state film studio, which opened in 1911 and was the first European studio to make sound pictures. This was also where Fritz Lang made his films, including Metropolis. Its glorious past has faded since the war as it is in Potsdam, which was in the GDR. The studio had 5,000 employees before unification, but most now face layoff and the studio’s future is uncertain.
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    Herbert Winokur, 83, suffers from dementia and has recently moved into his daughter's house in Montclair, NJ. His daughter, Julie Winokur, moved with her husband, Ed Kashi, and their two children, Eli, 11 and Isabel, 8, from San Francisco to help care for him. Julie takes Herb to St. Barnabas Medical Center to get him checked after his fall the day before. Here she waits with him and Ed in the emergency room for doctors to check Herb out. Eventually they kept him overnight for observation due to his confusion and instability. Julie massages her father's face to relax him.
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    Maxine Peters, 90, suffered from Parkson’s and end stage Alzheimer’s. She died under the best possible circumstances- at home, surrounded by family and friends. (Gladesville, WV, 2000)
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    Nightlife and the cultural scene in reunified Berlin, 1991. Interior of Beate Uhse's porno shop. This was the first porno shop to open in East Germany, just a short distance from where the wall once stood.
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    Kurdish police take security very seriously and post mobile checkpoints around the city of Arbil, Northern Iraq. Motorists are generally very cooperative and even appreciative of these efforts, which in large part makes the Kurdistan region the safest part of Iraq.
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    The Northern Oil Company is the main producer of oil and gas in northern Iraq. The struggle for power in Baghdad is playing out in the struggle for control of the Kirkuk oil fields. In 2003, after liberation, the Kurds with support of the American occupation, created the Oil Protection Force. As many as 3000 members of this force, who are mostly Kurdish, are now working to protect the oil fields and facilities. Recently the new Prime Minister, Mr. Jaafari, who is a Shiite, has proclaimed that this force must be disbanded. In these images are members of the Oil Protection Force patrolling and watching over the oil facilities.
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    Mirrors in the Citadel Frame Shop, opposite Arbil's historic citadel, reflects the movements and energy of this prospering and peaceful Kurdish city in northern Iraq.
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    A mysterious moment in Ali Pasha, the poorest district of Diyarbakir, where Kurdish families live on top of each other in squalid conditions. Ali Pasha, Diyarbakir, Turkey. 1991.
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    Overview of Beirut in 1996, and the changes occuring since the end of Lebanon's 15-year civil war. Sun bathers at the yacht club ajoining the war-scarred Hotel Saint-Georges, symbol of Beirut's glamorous past and ground zero during the civil war.
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    Kurdish woman harvesting lentils on Arab owned land in Syria, along the border with Turkey. 1991
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    A Russian mobster pimp with two of his prostitutes at the Yuhzni Sanatorium. September 1993 Crimea, Ukraine
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    Oil pipelines create a walkway for this young woman through the village of Okrika Town.
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    A boy carries a freshly killed goat through the smoke and haze of burning tires.
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    In the Igaw village of Oporoza three of the nine MEND fighters that were recently killed in a military ambush are laid to rest. MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) members had just negotiated the release of a Shell worker taken hostage and while on the way back through the creeks to deliver the worker to freedom, Nigerian military boats ambushed them and killed all nine as well as the Shell worker. Armed militants with MEND make a show of arms in support of their fallen comrades deep in the swamps of the Niger Delta.
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    Giant brick kilns are another common and inefficient use of the forest. Smoke-shrouded workers bake clay into bricks, their faces obscured by clouds of noxious smoke.
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    In the fishing village of Sainte Luce, fishermen return with their early morning catches. It's mostly lobsters and assorted fish. The lobsters are for export to the European market. The lobster and fish catches are reduced and the fishermen have to go farther out to sea then they have traditionally. This has made their work more dangerous and reflects a growing threat to their livelihoods. These images have been made for the 2010 Prix Pictet Commission, working in cooperation with the United Kingdom based NGO, Azafady, to show issues around land, forests and poverty in this region of Madagascar. The purpose of the images and stories collected here are to illustrate the lack of develoment and Azafady's efforts to promote sustainable development to improve the lives of the people and how the land is used.
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    Rice farmers prepare their field for planting by using zebu (cattle) to soften the muddy earth so the young rice shoots will take hold deeper in the soil. This is an ancient Malagasy tradition and is called magnosy. These images have been made for the 2010 Prix Pictet Commission, working in cooperation with the United Kingdom based NGO, Azafady, to show issues around land, forests and poverty in this region of Madagascar. The purpose of the images and stories collected here are to illustrate the lack of develoment and Azafady's efforts to promote sustainable development to improve the lives of the people and how the land is used.
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    The Golden Quadrilateral Highway project is one of India's largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects ever. It was started in the mid-1990's and the plan is for it to be finished by 2007. It will connect the four major cities of India together with a super highway; New Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay) and Chennai (Madras). This project is a metaphor for how India is entering the 21st century and modernizing itself to be a dominant player in the global economy. A trucker along the Golden Quadrilateral highway has sex with a eunuch, or transgender sex worker. In Madanayakana Hilla on the Golden Quadrilateral Highway near Bangalore, there are a number of hamams or bath houses that are run by eunuchs, or transgenders, as sex workers for the trucker traffic that passes on the GQ highway. Their clientele include people from the city and locals, but the main source of clients are the truckers that pass by and stop at this transshipment point for long haul truck drivers. The eunuchs are often preferred by the truckers, performing oral sex, anal sex and "thigh" sex. They also provide facilities to bath and massage the clients. These eunuchs are a subculture in India and they don't feel threatened by modernization or the expansion of the highways. They will just shift their workplaces when and where necessary. It is typical for the eunuchs to move around every few months, from hamam to hamam. Wherever they are they collect donations from the local shopkeepers and businesses. This is a tradition that continues on today. The typical services cost approximately $4 for sex, 25 cents for a washa and they average about 5 clients a day. The traditional name for these sex workers is hijada.
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    The Golden Quadrilateral Highway project is one of India's largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects ever. It was started in the mid-1990's and the plan is for it to be finished by 2007. It will connect the four major cities of India together with a super highway; New Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay) and Chennai (Madras). This project is a metaphor for how India is entering the 21st century and modernizing itself to be a dominant player in the global economy. Scenes at the Haryana/Uttar Pradesh border toll plaza. The monkeys are for entertainment, which is something the government is trying to stop.
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    Shia commemorate the death of Ali, one of the two most revered figures in Shia Islam. Each year Shiites, who make us 30% of the population of the Punjab, march through the narrow streets and alleyways of Lahore's Old City, beating themselves on the chest and whipping themselves with knives on chains to symbolize the suffering of Hazrut Ali, who was the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. The Day of Ashura (Ashoura) is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram. It is commemorated by Shia Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Hazrat (Husayn) ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. One of the two most revered figures in Shia Islam, Ali died at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram in the year 61 AH - October 2, 680 AD. The men and boys ceremoniously beat their fists against their chests (matham/latmiya) and bloody themselves in a traditional flagellation riitual called zanjeer zani or zanjeer matam, which involves the use of a zanjeer (a chain with blades), to symbolize the suffering of Ali.
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