The hospital helping heal the Middle East

The wounds of the patients on the wards of a special Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in Jordan reflect the brutal conflicts in the Middle East over the past few years.

It treats injured Iraqis, Syrians and Yemenis, and provides physiotherapy and mental health services as well as advanced surgery.

Over the past 10 years, surgeons there have performed more than 11,000 operations on 4,500 patients of all ages. Here are the stories of 10 of them.

Shamsa

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

Shamsa was having dinner in Aleppo, Syria, with her family when a bomb hit her home.

“In our family we love the moments of the meals, when we all eat together. We are five sisters and two brothers, so that moment is never silent,” she says.

The explosion, which tore apart the family gathering, burned her face.

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

Surgeons have now fitted a tissue expander to her neck to grow extra skin to help repair the scarring.

Aisha

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

Aisha, nicknamed Ayyoush, is from Yemen. She loves dancing as well as collecting balloons and roses during trips out of the hospital.

She was six months old when a candle set fire to her face and left arm.

She had four operations in Yemen before being referred to the MSF hospital, where they’re aiming to reduce her scarring and prepare her for a prosthetic arm.

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

Her father says, “Ayyoush continuously improves. Slowly. But she’s doing better.”

Yousef

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

Yousef from Baghdad loves motorbikes. One day, at sunset, a group of masked men stole his bike and set him on fire.

He was so badly burned that his chin was welded to his neck. Now, after multiple operations, the 17-year-old can drink, eat, and dress himself again.

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

He has recently got back on a motorbike, for the first time since the attack.

Qatada

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

Qatada drove over a mine in Aden, Yemen in 2015. He was blown out of the seat of his car.

One of his legs was lost and the other was amputated at a hospital in Yemen.

His arms were both injured.

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

After multiple operations, including a nerve transplant, he can now dress himself.

Since his injury, he and his wife have had a third son and hope, one day, to move to the West.

Manal

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

Manal from Iraq was injured in a missile explosion in the northern city of Kirkuk in 2015.

Her mother and two brothers had moved there for safety after the so-called Islamic State took over the town of Hawija.

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

The 11-year-old loves drawing, reciting stories and playing the guitar.

She has made lots of friends at the MSF hospital.

Mohammad

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

Mohammad, a 23-year-old shepherd from Syria says, “Bombs don’t look anyone in the face, they kill all: humans and animals. They just fall and kill. ”

In November 2016, he was grazing his sheep outside Homs when a grenade tore apart his chin and teeth.

He was unable to speak and eating was excruciatingly painful.

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

After 35 operations, he says, “I can speak and eat now. And I have learned that dreams can be realised.”

He has learned to read and write in the MSF hospital and is “90% better.” He now longs to return to family and friends in Syria – and to his sheep.

Ibrahim

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

Ibrahim from Yemen escaped his home in Sanaa in 2015 after a bombing.

His injury was caused by drinking from a bottle of drain opener at his grandmother’s house.

The acid burned his mouth and fused his lips together, leaving him unable to speak or eat solid food.

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

After multiple operations, the four-year-old can now open his mouth for the first time in more than two years.

His father is teaching him to speak again.

Wa’el

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

Wa’el, a keen footballer also from Yemen, has had 28 operations. That is one for every year of his life.

He was injured during the 2011 uprising against the former President, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Police responded to protests with force and Wael suffered third-degree burns to his face, back, arms and legs.

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

“After the attack, I used to stay in my room without leaving because of what I looked like. But thanks to the many surgeries, and the people here, I became more comfortable in my skin, and I made a lot of friends.”

He can now move his face and hands again, and play football.

Amal

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

Amal, a tailor from Iraq, was injured in Kirkuk when a car bomb went off as she was shopping with her grandmother.

She says, “I was burning, and I tried to put the fire out on my chest, so I burned my hands terribly. When I arrived at the MSF hospital my neck was attached to my chest.”

The 23-year-old says her own son could not recognise her. After multiple operations, she can now knit again and is sewing a dress for a cousin back in Iraq.

Image copyright
Alessio Mamo/ MSF

All images subject to copyright.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-41886227

Samhuinn Fire Festival

Image copyright
Gordon Veitch

The Samhuinn Fire Festival lit up Edinburgh’s skies on Monday night with a procession of fire, dance, and drumming down the Royal Mile.

Thousands of spectators gathered to mark Halloween with one of the city’s open-air festivals, which celebrates Scotland’s heritage by reviving the Celtic New Year.

Image copyright
Mark Taylor

More than 100 volunteers from Beltane Fire Society delivered a vibrant display of fireplay, acrobatics, and costumes in the capital’s city centre.

Starting at the top of the High Street, the procession made its way down to a stage, which this year was in a new location on the main pedestrian area of the Royal Mile looking up towards the castle.

The festival is a contemporary re-imagining of traditional Samhuinn celebrations, which mark the onset of winter, by depicting a battle between the Summer King and the Winter King.

It was first revived in 1995 by a small group of enthusiasts, and now involves over 100 collaborators and performers.

Image copyright
Neil Barton

Erin Macdonald, chairwoman of the Board at Beltane Fire Society, said: “We are thrilled with how Samhuinn turned out this year.

“Our volunteers have been working hard for weeks on their performances, and the fantastic atmosphere in the crowd meant that it all paid off.

“It’s wonderful getting to return to the Royal Mile year on year, and last night was no exception.

“We’d like to thank everyone who helped make last night a success, from local residents, to volunteers, the city council, police, and others.”

The Beltane Fire Society is a charity run by volunteers, dedicated to marking the fire festivals of the ancient Celtic calendar and keeping traditional Scottish skills of street theatre, music and pageantry alive.

Image copyright
Vince Graham

Image copyright
Neil Barton

Image copyright
Vince Graham

Image copyright
Mark Taylor

Image copyright
Nick Toth

Image copyright
Richard Winpenny

All images are copyrighted.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-41831810

Week in pictures: 29 October

Our selection of some of the most striking news photographs taken around the world this week.

Image copyright
Hannah McKay/REUTERS

Image caption

Rohingya Muslims continue their journey after crossing the Myanmar-Bangladesh border at Palong Khali. About 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since 25 August.

Image copyright
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Image caption

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump host Halloween on the south lawn at the White House in Washington DC. The first couple gave cookies away to costumed trick-or-treaters one day before the Halloween holiday.

Image copyright
Charlotte Graham/REX/Shutterstock

Image caption

Halfdan Ragnarsson, Ubba Ragnarsson and Ivarr the Boneless take part in an event to start the countdown to the next Jorvik Viking Festival in York, UK. On 1 November AD866, the Vikings invaded the Anglo-Saxon town of Eoforwic, knowing that the residents would be in church – without their weapons – celebrating the feast of All Saints.

Image copyright
Mussa Qawasma /REUTERS

Image caption

An actor dressed as Queen Elizabeth II, outside Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, gestures during an event ahead of the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. UK Prime Minister Theresa May is to host her Israeli counterpart to mark the centenary of a British pledge that paved the way for Israel’s creation.

Image copyright
Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Image caption

Eight people died after a man drove a truck into pedestrians on a cycle path in Manhattan. Mangled bikes littered the area after the incident. A 29-year-old man faces federal terrorism charges.

Image copyright
Susana Vera/REUTERS

Image caption

Eight sacked Catalan ministers have been remanded in custody by a Spanish high court judge over the region’s push for independence. Seven of the eight ex-ministers were pictured turning up to court together. The state prosecutor has requested a European arrest warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four others over their role in a disputed independence referendum – all five failed to show up at the high court.

Image copyright
Victoria Jones/PA

Image caption

Members of staff with paintings of the Houses of Parliament by Claude Monet during a photocall for Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile (1870-1904). The exhibition at Tate Britain unites the largest number of Monet’s Houses of Parliament series seen in the UK for over 40 years.

Image copyright
TIZIANA FABI/afp

Image caption

A bird stands on a white cross at the Sicily-Rome American cemetery in Nettuno. Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the cemetery before visiting the Fosse Ardeatine monument in Rome, the site of a mass execution in which 300 Italian civilians were killed by Nazi troops in 1944.

Image copyright
Andrew Walmsley via REUTERS

Image caption

A new species of orangutan has been identified by researchers on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, where a small population inhabits its Batag Toru forest. The species has been named the Tapanuli orangutan – a third species in addition to the Bornean and Sumatran.

All photographs are copyrighted.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-41845625

Africa’s top shots: 27 October-2 November 2017

A selection of the best photos from across Africa this week.

Image copyright
Reuters

An original Beetle may be a rare sight in some places these days, but not so in Ethiopia. In a photo published by Reuters on Friday, a man poses by his 1977 model, praising its strength and affordability.

Image copyright
Reuters

Sometimes, you just need a little help. This little boy prays ahead of his primary school exams, taking place at Kiboro Primary school in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, on Tuesday.

Image copyright
AFP

Elsewhere in Kenya, the re-run of the election was captivating people’s attention. On Monday, these men keep a close eye on unfolding events thanks to the TV in an electrical shop in the western city of Kisumu.

Image copyright
AFP

An artist draws a Manga figure during Comicon in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, on Thursday. These popular gatherings of comic-enthusiasts first began in San Diego in the 1970s.

Image copyright
AFP

In Egypt, thousands gather to watch the final training session of Cairo side Al Ahly before they head to Morocco for the African Champions League final. Unfortunately for these dedicated fans, the session was later cancelled because of the numbers of fans.

Image copyright
EPA

In Ivory Coast, a woman extracts palm oil the traditional way, on Monday. Palm oil is hugely versatile, used in everything from soaps to biofuels, and the Ivorian government hopes to double production to 600,000 tonnes by 2020.

Image copyright
Getty Images

It may not look like fun, but these Libyan competitors all chose to spend their Saturday completing a 4km-long obstacle course – including crawling under some nasty looking wire – for the love of it.

Image copyright
Google

In comparison, these sailors embarking on the third leg of the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race look like they are having an easy time. But they set off from Cape Town on Tuesday bracing themselves for the possibility of 80ft (24m) swells and fierce winds.

Image copyright
AFP

These children in Kasai province, in central Democratic Republic of Congo, play among the runs of a broken building on Sunday, finding a moment’s fun in a region which has been beset by conflict in recent years.

Image copyright
PA

And finally, welcome to Rwanda’s answer to Lord’s cricket ground in the UK. England ex-captain Michael Vaughan and former South African star Herschelle Gibbs captained sides for a celebrity match on Saturday at the new venue in Kigali.

Images courtesy of AFP, EPA, PA and Reuters

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-41845911

Shivers

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-41847891

Holiday home

Citroen’s 2CV cars tend to be associated with rural France. But for decades it has been the car of choice for taxi drivers more than 5,000 miles (8,000km) away on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar.

Feno Rafanomezantsoa’s father had a 2CV which he bought in 1964. When that broke down, Feno decided to get one of his own. That was in 1987 and he still has it today.

Madagascar gained independence from France in 1960, but French cars remain extremely popular.

French influence is also seen outside the presidential palace.

2CVs have become a symbol of Madagascar.

Eddy Rajaonarison La Roche, 26, has been making these souvenirs out of milk cartons since he was 10. It takes him three days to make one.

You wait ages for a 2CV and then four come along at once.

Menjasoa Anjaraniaiana used to drive another vintage French car – a Renault 4 – but he switched to a 2CV three years ago because he said they were cheaper to maintain.

People often choose 2CVs because they don’t often break down and when they do, they are cheap and easy to repair.

Many Andrianaivoson used to have another car but also switched to a 2CV four months ago because the spare parts are cheaper.

There is one complaint – the 2CV can’t go that fast. But on the capital Antananarivo’s congested roads this doesn’t really matter.

With such old cars, passengers often find the seats are a bit worse for wear.

For some the 2CV is a car for life.

All photographs taken by Clare Spencer.

We’d like to see your pictures of 2CVs and possibly publish our favourites. Send your 2CV pics that you are particularly proud of to yourpics@bbc.co.uk. You can send an MMS from the UK to 61124. Or if you are contacting us from the rest of the world send it to: +44 (0)7725 100 100. Or upload your photos and video here.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-41388419

In pictures: Revellers celebrate Samhuinn Fire Festival

Image copyright
Gordon Veitch

The Samhuinn Fire Festival lit up Edinburgh’s skies on Monday night with a procession of fire, dance, and drumming down the Royal Mile.

Thousands of spectators gathered to mark Halloween with one of the city’s open-air festivals, which celebrates Scotland’s heritage by reviving the Celtic New Year.

Image copyright
Mark Taylor

More than 100 volunteers from Beltane Fire Society delivered a vibrant display of fireplay, acrobatics, and costumes in the capital’s city centre.

Starting at the top of the High Street, the procession made its way down to a stage, which this year was in a new location on the main pedestrian area of the Royal Mile looking up towards the castle.

The festival is a contemporary re-imagining of traditional Samhuinn celebrations, which mark the onset of winter, by depicting a battle between the Summer King and the Winter King.

It was first revived in 1995 by a small group of enthusiasts, and now involves over 100 collaborators and performers.

Image copyright
Neil Barton

Erin Macdonald, chairwoman of the Board at Beltane Fire Society, said: “We are thrilled with how Samhuinn turned out this year.

“Our volunteers have been working hard for weeks on their performances, and the fantastic atmosphere in the crowd meant that it all paid off.

“It’s wonderful getting to return to the Royal Mile year on year, and last night was no exception.

“We’d like to thank everyone who helped make last night a success, from local residents, to volunteers, the city council, police, and others.”

The Beltane Fire Society is a charity run by volunteers, dedicated to marking the fire festivals of the ancient Celtic calendar and keeping traditional Scottish skills of street theatre, music and pageantry alive.

Image copyright
Vince Graham

Image copyright
Neil Barton

Image copyright
Vince Graham

Image copyright
Mark Taylor

Image copyright
Nick Toth

Image copyright
Richard Winpenny

All images are copyrighted.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-41831810

Hair raising

Image copyright
Abid Bhat

Tasleema Rouf, 35, was on the top storey of her house in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, when she says she saw a man’s shadow.

Before she could react, she says, she was attacked. When she tried to scream for help, he tried to strangle her. She fell unconscious.

That’s how her husband found her – lying on the floor, with some of her hair chopped off.

At least 40 instances of hair chopping have been reported in the state of Jammu and Kashmir since 6 September, sparking off hysteria and protests. The situation is so volatile that even schools and colleges were shut briefly.

This isn’t the first time that “braid chopping” attacks have made headlines in India. More than 50 women in the northern states of Haryana and Rajasthan had reported in August that their braids were chopped off while they were unconscious.

But given Kashmir’s volatile relationship with India’s federal government, the attacks here have led to violence, vigilantism and allegations against both Indian security forces and separatists.

Image copyright
Abid Bhat

Image caption

Tasleema Rouf is seen crying after she was attacked and her hair chopped off

Little is known about who is behind the attacks. Most of the women said they were knocked unconscious and woke up to find that their hair had been cut. Some said their attackers wore masks. None of the women saw the culprits.

Image copyright
Abid Bhat

This woman, who didn’t want to be identified, agreed to be photographed for this article lying next to her cut hair.

She says she was attacked outside her home early in the morning. Her gold chain was snatched, but the attacker did not take the braid that had been cut – as in every other incident, it was left behind.

Image copyright
Abid Bhat

The so-called “braid chopping” has set off panic in the state, sparking several protests. India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which shares power with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir, has alleged that the “braid chopping” attacks are being used as a “new tool by separatists and anti-nationals to vitiate peace”. It has demanded a judicial inquiry.

Image copyright
Abid Bhat

Activist Ahsan Antoo protested against the attacks, which are being seen as a “humiliation” of Kashmiri women. The opposition National Conference party accused the state government of failing to protect the “dignity” of their “mothers, daughters and sisters.” Even militant group Hizbul Mujahideen has weighed in, alleging that this is a “ploy” by the Indian government to “counter militant attacks” as paranoid locals are now more likely to report militants passing through their village.

Image copyright
Abid Bhat

Protests have often ended in clashes between security forces and civilians. Amid the increasing pressure, Kashmir police have created a “special investigative team” to catch the attackers. They also announced a 600,000 rupee ($9,228; £7,000) award. But separatists accuse Indian security forces of planning these attacks to “intimidate” Kashmiris who are demanding independence from India.

Image copyright
Abid Bhat

Young men across the state have also formed vigilante groups, with sometimes tragic results. Vigilantes killed a 70-year-old man who they mistook for a “braid chopper”. Six foreign tourists, including a British national, were also threatened by a mob in Srinagar.

Image copyright
Abid Bhat

Waseem Ahmad was brutally beaten by a vigilante mob in north Kashmir because they suspected him of being a “braid chopper”. He says they tried to burn him alive but he was rescued by the police.

Image copyright
Abid Bhat

This elderly man, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, installed a CCTV camera in his home after he says his daughter-in-law’s hair was chopped off on two different occasions over three days.

Abid Bhat is a photographer based in Srinagar.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-41773176

The highlights of past Winter Olympics

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-41816520