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The Lives Of Chechen Girls

After nearly two decades of conflict and the preceding 70 years of Soviet rule, during which religious participation was banned, modern-day Chechnya is going through an Islamic revival. For young girls in the republic, ordinary acts can bring severe consequences. Being caught smoking is cause for arrest, while rumors of a couple having sex before marriage can result in an honor killing. The few girls who dare to rebel become targets in the eyes of Chechen authorities. Documentary photographer and writer Diana Markosian shot this photo essay chronicling the lives of young Muslim girls in Chechnya who, she writes, are now coming of age in a republic that is rapidly redefining itself as a Muslim state. (17 PHOTOS)