All posts tagged: kilis

Open Society Foundations Voices Blog: After a Long Haul, Refugees Settle Into New Lives Far from Home

Voices | Q + A After a Long Haul, Refugees Settle Into New Lives Far from Home October 16, 2015 Antonia Zafieri American photographer Amanda Rivkin has been photographing refugees as they transit from Syria to Europe. Recently, she posted several of these photos to the Open Society Instagram feed. Here, she talks about her experience documenting the refugees’ stories, and what she’s observed of their attempts to settle into new lives far from their original homes. Why did you pursue this story? I pursued the story of the recent exodus to Europe from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere for no reason other than it was there. I lived in Turkey for two years and never covered refugees as an issue per se, although refugees were everywhere in Istanbul at the time. Some were also my friends. If there was a crack between two buildings, it was as if you could find three Syrian families living there. But I think there is so much of this biblical, dramatic imagery that we forget that Syria—emptying out …

Best of 2014: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Germany and Sweet Home Chicago

(NOTE: Much of my work from this year remains under embargo until publication including my recent work in Bosnia and Herzegovina with National Geographic Young Explorer Grantee Cara Eckholm.) In February, events in Ukraine rapidly spiraled out of control following the peaceful occupation of the central Maidan Niezalezhnosti or Independence Square in Kiev that had begun late in 2013. On the evening of February 18, 2014, the government of Viktor Yanukovych ordered snipers positioned around the square to fire on demonstrators. The gunfire continued intermittently, killing dozens for two days until it stopped. Then Yanukovych fled to Russia. Since then, Russia has annexed Crimea and sent troops into eastern regions of Ukraine. The government in Kiev has realigned itself with the West and the European Union. In early April, I traveled to Kiev to photograph those who had survived the sniper attacks from February 18-20, 2014 and to hear their stories. I hoped to bring their voice into a conversation about the conflict playing out in the international media and policy circles in Washington and …

After James Foley’s Death, Returning to A Point of Crossing Into Syria for Many

Tragic events this week lead back to a hotel in Kilis, Turkey on the Syrian border I photographed last April for the German newspaper Die Welt. The entire day I spent there, I felt like I was being watched. Any car that pulled up to the front entrance, I immediately sought distance from. And now this story from 2013, “Hotel Wahnsinn,” finds its way into a piece, “Was U.S. Journalist Steven Sotloff A Marked Man?” for The Daily Beast by Ben Taub, who was the first person I met when I walked into the lobby of the Hotel Istanbul in search of three protagonists an editor had passed on to me for the story. * * * My heavy heart to James Foley’s and Steven Sotloff’s friends and family as well as to all the friends and family of others being held in captivity in Syria and Iraq, foreigners as well as Syrians and Iraqis alike. We all deserve a better world than this one. Every single Muslim I know stands opposed to ISIS, so …

Welt am Sonntag: Hotel Wahnsinn (Hotel Madness, ie the Otel Istanbul in Kilis, Turkey)

Published today in Welt am Sonntag, “Hotel Wahnsinn,” several images from the Otel Istanbul in Kilis, Turkey, home to journalists, Syrian refugee families and individuals, soldiers of fortune and assorted other people taking great risks for various reasons as Kilis is situated about ten kilometers from the Syrian border.