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epa Photo Essays 2021
For refugees and asylum seekers, starting a new life in the United Kingdom presents a host of tough challenges, from learning the language to finding common ground with the locals. But a grassroots soccer team in southern England has stepped in to help the newcomers to integrate and make friends in their new home. The club, founded in 2017 in Reading, was created to bring together refugees and non-refugees to play soccer in a spirit of unity, which he says is the essence of the world’s most popular sport. "Football is the beautiful game — it unites people and promotes community cohesion and integration," Tomson Chalke, founder and chairman of Sanctuary Strikers Football Club, says.
In Nagorno Karabakh, life is returning to normal after the 44-day war between September and November last year that left more than 5,000 killed and thousands of displaced people and refugees. But some things are still far from what they used to be in the self-declared Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), a territory mostly home to ethnic Armenians that the Soviets allocated to Azerbaijan in 1921 and is recognized as Azerbaijani by the international community. Soldiers stranded in abandoned military positions, schools housing orphans and the children of refugees, villagers in need of aid, and the evident scars of a war that has brought 2,000 Russian peacekeepers to monitor the ceasefire agreed in the middle of the night on November 10 are now part of the landscape in this troubled region. In Karabakh political tensions are on the rise. Some want answers, and there are voices demanding that those responsible for the bloodshed be punished and a complete change of the failing leadership. Despite the resentment, people are mostly frightened of a resumption of the conflict.
Istanbul has been a site of human settlement for around 3,000 years and nowadays it is a cradle of cultural and historical heritage points that plot the city's evolution over time. Byzantine churches, walls, and cisterns rub shoulders with Ottoman mosques, fountains, and tombs in the Turkish city that straddles Europe and Asia. Some of the historic features of Istanbul have been neglected in recent years while others have fallen into ruin. It is a trend that specialists from Istanbul's cultural heritage department (IBB Miras) strive to buck. IBB Miras brings together experts in restoration, architecture, engineering, history, and visual arts, who want to breathe some life back into some of the city’s dilapidated gems.