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This post will consist of a Q&A and portrait of someone we meet on the trip.

Remembering Syria and Syrians — The Sculptor Mustafa Ali

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This is the fourth installment of a series reflecting on the Syria we knew and the Syrians we befriended in the years we travelled to the country before the Civil War. Parts one and two were on the Storyteller Abu Shady and Jazz Duo Rasha Rizk and Ghazwan Zerkli. The Old City of Damascus had ...

Remembering Syria and Syrians — The Storyteller Abu Shady

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For the second part of a short series in which we're reflecting on Syria and Syrians before the Civil War, the places we travelled and the people we met, we want to share a piece we did about the storyteller Abu Shady, who we last interviewed for a feature in 2009. The portrait above is ...

Remembering Syria and Syrians Before the Civil War

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Last weekend, following a three-day ceasefire agreement reached during the Syria peace talks in Geneva the previous week, the UN evacuated some 700 Syrians from Homs' old quarter, a rebel-held area besieged by Syrian government forces for some 18 months. A further 300 people were able to leave a few days later. Sadly, as they ...

Can We Photograph Your Cows?

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We left the Khmer temples of Prasat Phanom Rung and nearby Prasat Muang Tam that we’d woken at 4am to drive to, in order to capture them at their best at magic hour, and we began our drive back to Korat and on to another Khmer temple complex, Prasat Hin Phimai. But not before stopping to photograph ...

Have You Ever Wanted to Hug Your Concierge?

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Staying in holiday rentals and settling into a place for a while offers opportunities to get close to people in ways that a hotel can't. Don't believe us? These are some of the special people we befriended who touched our souls over the last year in some way. 1. Jamila from Marrakech The manager, housekeeper and ...

Portrait of a Place: Monwabisi Sobitshi at Langa Township

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I just had to make this portrait of Monwabisi Sobitshi, an extraordinary actor and artist we met when we visitedGuga S’thebe Culture, Arts and Empowerment Centre at the township of Langa, Cape Town. When Monwabisi is not teaching drama to school kids and high-school drop-outs, he’s recycling soft drink cans into funky crafts. Monwabisi spontaneously performed ...

Taking Portraits — Tips for Travellers

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What constitutes a portrait photo? How do you go about capturing a good portrait of a person? And do you need permission? These are some of the questions readers have asked me via email in relation to our August Grantourismo contest. What is a portrait? A portrait is a posed photo of a person (more ...

10 Things You Should Know About the East Village

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“How many East Villagers does it take to screw in a light bulb?” Rob Hollander, an East Village resident of some 31 years, asks us as we settle onto a bench in Tompkins Square Park. “Two,” he tells us. “One to screw it in, and one to tell you how it used to be better!” ...

An Amble Around the Rice Paddies of Tumbak Bayuh, Bali

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“Hello! Hello!” two skinny little kids call out as they peek from behind a dilapidated brick wall, a short distance down the lane from our villa in the tiny village of Tumbak Bayuh, Bali. “Hello!!!” we shout back and the kids smile shyly and scurry away. Opposite, at the entrance to another home, a young woman ...

Painting Venice

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Painting. Venice. Two notions that appeal to this romantic grand turista. We’ve been seeing artists sketching and painting in Venice and all over Europe this spring, setting up easels and drawing in sketchbooks, everywhere from the cobblestone lanes of the old town of Kotor to the waterfront at Venice’s Rialto markets. And I’ve been thinking ...