Saturday, August 23, 2014

Wearing The Hijab In Britain

For Muslim women in the United Kingdom, the decision to wear a head scarf, or hijab, reflects a complex range of personal beliefs and competing social pressures. Reuters photographer Olivia Harris took portraits of Muslim women and girls in London and asked them why they chose to wear the hijab. She found that their reasons go beyond simple religious observance, and include modesty, fitting in with classmates, and defying the racist attitudes of some non-Muslims.

Top Shots

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.

Moscow, 1990: When The Big Mac Came To Town

Amid tensions between Moscow and the West, Russia has announced the closure of four McDonald's restaurants in the capital for "technical reasons." When the fast-food chain first opened in Russia nearly 25 years ago, it was hailed as a sign of thawing Cold War relations and crowds of Muscovites flocked to taste their first Big Mac.

Seventy-Five Years Ago: The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

On August 23, 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a nonaggression treaty in Moscow, paving the way for the Nazi and Soviet invasions of Poland the following month and the beginning of World War II. Known colloquially as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, after Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, the agreement gave Adolf Hitler a free hand to attack Poland without fear of Soviet intervention. At the same time, Hitler and Josef Stalin established a secret protocol dividing Central and Eastern Europe into "spheres of influence."

Photos Of The Week #33

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.

Through Art, Children Plea For Peace In Ukraine

A group of Russian supporters of pro-European activists in Ukraine has collected antiwar drawings by children from across Europe, which they want to send to soldiers fighting pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine.

Photos Of The Week #32

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.

Clashes In Kyiv As Workers Clear Barricades

Demonstrators clashed with city employees in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on August 7 as the workers tried to clear barricades and tents from Independence Square. Protesters set fire to piles of tires and threw bottles and bricks at the municipal workers, who eventually withdrew. After the mass antigovernment protests that ousted pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych last winter, hundreds of protesters have remained on Independence Square, saying they want to ensure the new government follows through on reforms.

An Azerbaijani Town On The Front Lines

Azerbaijan-Agdam-Chiragli village-frontline between Azerbaijan and Armenia-4Avg2014

The Azeri town of Ciraqli sits almost on top of the Line of Contact dividing Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh, the region controlled by Armenian-backed separatists. There has been fighting around the town in the last week, but residents have been dealing with conflict in the area for far longer than that. RFE/RL photographer Abbas Atilay went to the town in the Agdam district to record what life is like there for the residents.

Scraping Out A Living In Afghanistan

For more than a decade, the international military presence and foreign aid in Afghanistan have helped prop up the local economy. But now, with the number of troops falling and military bases shrinking, Afghans have been left struggling to make ends meet.

'National Geographic Traveler' Photo Contest

"National Geographic Traveler" magazine has announced the winners of its annual photography contest, chosen from more than 18,000 entries.

Photos Of The Week #31

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.

Jerge-Tal, Where Kyrgyz And Tajik Cultures Collide

In the Jerge-Tal region of Tajikistan, high in the Pamir Mountains, the descendants of Kyrgyz nomads have settled and established a unique community. The residents of Jerge-Tal easily switch between Kyrgyz, a Turkic language, and Tajik, closely related to Persian. Though they have ties to two cultures, the inhabitants of the region are isolated by their remote location and the frequent closure of the roads leading to Kyrgyzstan amid ongoing border disputes. (Photos by Janyl Jusupjan, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)

Coal Mining In Pakistan's Punjab Province

At the Choa Saidan Shah coal mine, workers dig coal with pickaxes, break it up, and load it onto donkeys to be transported to the surface. The mine is in Punjab, Pakistan's most populous and richest province, but most of the miners come the poorer region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, to the northwest. Employed by private contractors, the miners work in teams of four, with each team earning about $10 a day to be divided among them. (Photos by Sara Farid, Reuters)

'Pariah' Putin On Post-MH17 Cover Pages

Since MH17, many periodicals around the world have portrayed Russian President Vladimir Putin on their covers as a pariah, a liar, and a murderer.

Celebrating Vardavar, Armenia's Water Festival

Armenians celebrated the holiday of Vardavar on July 27, throwing water on one another in the streets of Yerevan. Observed on the 14th Sunday after Easter, the festival is associated with the biblical Transfiguration of Jesus when he appeared before his disciples on Mount Tabor. But the water festival tradition predates Christianity, and was originally a celebration of the pagan deity Astghik, the goddess of water, beauty, love, and fertility. Today, Vardavar is largely an opportunity to cool off from the summer heat. (Photos by Photolure News Agency)

U.S. Says Satellite Images Show Shelling Of Ukraine Troops From Russian Territory

The U.S. State Department on July 27 issued satellite images that it says clearly indicate artillery strikes on Ukrainian military positions in eastern Ukraine were fired from across the border in Russian territory. The dates on the image are as recent as July 25-26. The captions accompanying these photos are text issued by the office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence.

Photos Of The Week #30

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.

World War I: Scenes Of Life And Death

On July 28, 1914, Austro-Hungarian troops fired the first shots during the invasion of Serbia that marked the start of World War I. The conflict resulted in more than 16 million military and civilian deaths, but did not bring about the end to all wars as some hoped and dreamed it would. One-hundred years later, harrowing images from the war retain their power and immediacy. Included in this collection are photos that have been only recently discovered and shown publicly.

U.S. Intelligence Releases Evidence Of Russian Connection To MH17 Downing

"The Washington Post" reports that the U.S. intelligence community has released its analysis of photos relating to the shoot down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence reportedly says the images show the movements of an antiaircraft missile system toward Russia, and increased Russian military activity.
Hit Us With Your Best Shots
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