By Damir Sagolj
Behind heavy, ornate doors on the Rue de Farj, an invisible pressure-cooker whistles. Next comes the smell of food that carries me back to childhood. Two cheerful voices can be heard, both female: one is patronising, the younger almost singing. Over the thick stone wall I can see a mother-in-law teaching a newlywed girl the secrets of her cooking.
Over the next two hours of a cool Sunday morning, I stood before and photographed 55 similar and equally mesmerising doors. By noon, I was in love with Rabat’s Medina.
BANGKOK, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Gun battles erupted between Thai
police and anti-government protesters in Bangkok on Tuesday and
four people were killed and dozens wounded as authorities made
their most determined effort yet to clear demonstrators from the
In a day of tangled developments in Thailand’s long-running
political crisis, the country’s anti-corruption body announced
it was filing charges against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
relating to a rice subsidy scheme that has fuelled middle-class
opposition to her government.
BANGKOK (Reuters) – A Thai police officer was killed and dozens of police and anti-government protesters were wounded in gun battles and clashes in Bangkok on Tuesday, officials and witnesses said.
Violence erupted as the authorities launched their most determined effort yet to clear demonstrators from sites around state offices in the capital, where anti-government rallies have been taking place since November.
BANGKOK (Reuters) – At least three police officers were wounded as Thai authorities launched an operation to clear anti-government protesters from streets in Bangkok on Tuesday, one with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head, Reuters witnesses said.
Three Reuters witnesses said they heard what sounded like gunfire in the Thai capital and saw firearms being carried by both sides. Authorities did not immediately confirm that shots had been fired.
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thousands of Thai riot police were deployed on Friday to seize back protest sites around government buildings in Bangkok that have been occupied for months by demonstrators seeking to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Anti-government protesters have been disrupting life in the Thai capital since November, trying to oust Yingluck. They view her as a proxy for her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, a self-exiled former premier who clashed with the establishment before he was overthrown by the army in a 2006 coup.
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Dozens of gunshots and at least two explosions raised tensions amid anti-government protests in the Thai capital on Saturday, a day ahead of a general election seen as incapable of restoring stability in the deeply polarised country.
At least three people were wounded in the violence in front of a suburban shopping mall in the north of Bangkok. Gunmen among the crowds could be seen hiding their weapons before backing away from the shooting.
BANGKOK, Dec 1 (Reuters) – Hundreds of protesters seeking to
overthrow Thailand’s government stormed a police compound on
Sunday where the prime minister had been during the morning,
forcing her to leave hastily for an undisclosed location, a
government official said.
Police fired several rounds of teargas in an area of Bangkok
near Government House, after a chaotic night of street fighting
elsewhere in the capital during which two people were killed and
at least 45 wounded.
BANGKOK, Dec 1 (Reuters) – A “red shirt” Thai government
supporter was shot and killed early on Sunday, raising the death
toll to two from political violence in Bangkok as protesters
intensified a week-long bid to topple Prime Minister Yingluck
Police called in military back-up to protect government
buildings after fatal street clashes erupted between supporters
and opponents of Yingluck and her billionaire brother, ousted
former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, near a sports stadium
where about 70,000 government supporters had gathered.
By Damir Sagolj
Shortly after the mandatory evacuation was announced on television, Fumio Okubo put on his best clothes and his daughter-in-law served up his favorite dinner. By morning, the 102-year-old was dead. He had hanged himself before dawn.
A rope knitted from plastic bags is certainly not a tanto knife. Nor was his death a dramatic one, with the public in attendance and blood all around but what an old farmer did that morning recalls the act of a samurai in ancient times – to die with honor. Okubo, who was born and lived his entire life between Iitate’s rice fields and cedar trees, wanted to die in his beautiful village, here and nowhere else.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Damir Sagolj
Like a true professional, Maen Sopeak sings to the audience of seven people who sit on the bare floor of her room in a Phnom Penh suburb. Her singing is soft, at moments almost a whisper, but her beautiful voice is clear. In a country even slightly richer than devastated, impoverished Cambodia, she could be a star. She could perform to packed halls, wearing only the best clothes.
Maen Sopeak is, however, just a poor garment worker. There will be no sell-out crowds or fancy dresses for her anytime soon. She shares a single, hole-in-the-wall room with six other women, who all work at a nearby garment factory producing clothes for Western brands.