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The Story Behind The Photo: Axum, Ethiopia

Pre-dawn St Mary’s Day Ceremony – Axum, Ethiopia

“Tales from aeons past seep from every corner of Axum.  More than 2000 years ago, the former capital of the Axumite kingdom exerted its military, trade and cultural powers for more than a millennium.  Legend states that the king who bore Frankincense (Gaspar) to Jesus after his birth hailed from Axum.  The famed Queen of […]

The Story Behind The Photo: Erbil, Kurdistan

Tea House - Erbil, Kurdish Region, Iraq

“In the Middle East, the visitor is seen as a gift from God. But like any gift, the reaction to its receipt is related to its frequency; the more regular the gift, the less enthusiastic the response. The Middle East bestows the most hospitable of welcomes on visitors, and since I never met or saw […]

The Story Behind The Photo: Kizkut, Afghanistan

A harsh life - Kizkut, Afghanistan

“It is a harsh life in the Wakhan. This is best evidenced by infant mortality rates that exceed 40% in places, contributed by a combination of climate and isolation. This harshness is reflected in the Wakhi faces that are as captivating as the mountains they live under. The faces are hard, and every line on […]

The Story Behind The Photo: Rang-kul, Tajikistan

Family home – near Rang-kul, Tajikistan

“My camel lumbered over some of the most barren landscape you are likely to see. My camel was moderately sized and in the process of shedding her brown winter coat. Apart from the wind, her gurgling and whining was the only noise that be discerned at this altitude of 4000 metres. The sky was a […]

The Story Behind The Photo: Las Geel, Somaliland

Muse Abdijama - guard of Las Geel, Somaliland

“Occasionally when travelling, one meets a person who has played an important part in history. I met him at the star attraction of Somaliland, if not on the entire horn of Africa. Las Geel is a collection of reportedly 7000 year old cave paintings that were only uncovered to Western eyes in 2002 by a […]

The Story Behind The Photo: Krak des Chevaliers, Syria

Inner fortress at Krak des Chevaliers - Syria

“Nestled high on a vertiginous hilltop, sits a castle that TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) described as the finest in the world. Krak Des Chevaliers, or the Castle of Knights, was constructed between 1000-800 years ago by both the First Crusaders, and then the Knights Hospitaller.  The castle is visible from many kilometres distant, and […]

The Story Behind The Photo: Sana’a, Yemen

Market in the Old City - Sana'a, Yemen

“I audibly gasped when I entered the Old City of Sana’a, for it was as if I had just arrived in a town lifted from the pages of an Arabian fairytale. The taxi drove through the twisting roads which lay at the bottom of narrow canyons of towering thin buildings, with facades resembling gingerbread houses […]

The Story Behind The Photo: Pyongyang, North Korea

Great Leader statue on Mansu Hill - Pyongyang, North Korea

“The first important site we visited was the gargantuan bronze statue of the Great Leader (Kim Ill Sung – the founder of North Korea) at Mansu Hill in Pyongyang, which we were required to honour with flowers. Backed by a huge mural of Mount Paektu (the symbolic birthplace of the Korean nation) we approached the […]