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Asylum seekers from Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia take long journeys and risk their lives to reach Malta, Italy, Cyprus, Spain, and recently mostly Greece. They often travel with little money, among hunger, exhort and fatigue. After months, or even years of the journey, they reach Libyan or Turkish coast and take this final step: cross the Mediterranean Sea in a dinghy. And here they are, in Europe! Here they are – with a hope their lives are now free, wealthy and safe, thinking that Mediterranean waters have changed it all.

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Hamza, 21 years old from Somalia. He escape Muslim fundamentalists in his country and it took him three years before he got to safety in Malta where he has received an asylum.

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Hazem, 24 from Syria. He tried to get from Syria to Italy on a ship, but the ship got on rough waters near Cyprus where the escapees were forced to embark. He received international protection from Cypriot government.

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Behesht, two years old girl from Iran. She came to Greece with her mother and cousins. They flew to Istanbul and then took a bus to the Mediterranean coast.

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Parvane, 7 years old Uzbek from Afghanistan. She came to Greece with her family and many relatives. Four related Uzbek families, counting around 40 individuals came to Greece. It took them over two months to get to Kos from Afghanistan. They partly walked and partly took buses.

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Alef from Pakistan, 21. He came to Kos in Greece on the 21st of October. He travelled a month with his friends and cousin to get to the Turkish coast. There he took a dinghy with 7 other individuals. He wishes to live in Sweden.

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Chief, 19 years old form Sudan. He left his home when he was 15. It took him over two years to get from Sudan to Malta. He survived shooting on Sahara and a prison in Libya. In Malta he has received an asylum.

 

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is much a media conflict. Israel, being better organized and far wealthier, have been winning this awkward competition for many years and tried to present Palestinians as expremists.  I decided to approach Palestinian men aged between 18 and 50. I travelled the West Bank and asked my models to pose in their natural work environment.

Palestinians do not have access to many goods and modern commodities, what seems to make their lives less ambitious but also less hectic.

They have a great respect towards their tradition and religion.  What I have found most interesting is that they are very confident and proud.

 

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October, 2015

Asylum seekers who illegally cross Mediterranean waters in a dinghey are usually allowed to have only one small bag on them. They take whatever is most needed. It always is a mobile phone and ID. Some people take their combs, some take preyer beads. Children hide small toys in their pockets. They get into dinghies with their life jackets on, having the water as a carrier and an enemy. The Sea tries to grab it all.  The Greek shore becomes a museum of past lives of thousands of migrants, who left part of their identity behind. 

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