Booby-traps … but no Baghdadi: the men cleaning up after Isis in northern Iraq - for The Guardian

“Look how quickly they ran from here,” said Dr al-Khafaf, an emergency medic who had moved into Ba’aj hospital as soon as Isis moved out. “We were not expecting it to be so sudden. Ever since, he and other medics have had to pick their way through a hospital littered with improvised explosives. Above him, Isis had written a warning to female visitors, which read: “Your attention please. Please abide by the sharia dress code, or there will be consequences.”

Read more here.

Torn by War on ISIS, Mosul Risks Lasting Divisions - for The Wall Street Journal

Daily life in the two halves of Mosul contrast sharply. At times on the eastern bank it feels like there was never a war or that ISIS had once ruled. However in the west, destruction is everywhere and the misery overwhelming and unrelenting. I tried to sum this up in photos during two days chasing similar city scenes last month for The Wall Street Journal. 

Read the piece and see more photos here.

Searching for Syria - for Google

Very honored to play a small hand in the creation of this massive project in collaboration between Google and UNHCR. This website offers incredible detail and information on Syria and the Syrian people. Please take some time to walk through it and share it widely.

See the full site here.

screengrab from website, image not mine.

screengrab from website, image not mine.

How 6 Pro Photographers Are Using Instagram Stories - TIME

I was included in a TIME Lightbox piece about how photographers are using Instagram Stories.

"It allows me to put the battle for Mosul in front of someone riding the bus to work in Texas or rocking their kid to bed in Indonesia. Stories allows me to put this crisis in their hands. That's powerful. As journalists struggle with ways to inform people about what's happening in the world, it seems foolish not to use it. It's clearly effective."

Read the full piece here.

How Can I Help?

I've received an increasing number of questions specifically asking what's the best way to get involved and help with what's happening in Iraq and Syria. There is now a side FAQ page on this site to outline my suggestions for helping and as a space for answers to other common questions in the future. 

Read it here

Corrymeela Journalism Retreat

Myself, along with a handful of other journalists and photographers, spent the first five days of May in Northern Ireland as part of a program focused on mental health and trauma faced by journalists working in conflict around the world. The retreat was held at the lovely Corrymeela Center just outside Ballycastle and graciously funded by the IWMF. We spent everyday from morning to sunset focusing on ways to deal with trauma faced by ourselves, colleagues, and subjects - including daily morning yoga routines, lots of discussion sessions, and hiking. I firmly believe that in order to continue doing our jobs to the best of our ability we must take care of ourselves - both body and mind. It’s much easier to put armor over your chest than your thoughts. I know many of you are conflict journalists and others combat veterans. Mental trauma is a physical injury and we need change the stigma that it is a sign of weakness. You’re not weak for having a brain injury, just like you wouldn’t be weak for having a bullet wound. I’ll post more about this later but I’ll leave you with this easy takeaway from the class. R.A.F.T. - Rest (and breathe, reflect, replenish), Access (a mentor or buddy to talk out your experiences), Focus (on your purpose, meaning, and professional skills), and Take (in whole foods, water, sleep, and exercise). Stay safe and much love. Take care of one another. You are not alone.

Awra Ali - for The Intercept

“Every day, there is more shrapnel,” Alia said, sitting on the linoleum floor of the hospital, stroking the tuft of brown hair on Awra’s head that is growing back after it was shaved to remove the first pieces of metal when she arrived at the hospital. Bits of shrapnel are still coming out of her head wounds, and larger pieces remain lodged in her legs.

read the full story here

Documenting a Besieged City: In Mosul, Iraq, with Photojournalist Cengiz Yar

I was interviewed and featured by Instagram for my work covering the Mosul offensive. 

"Cengiz Yar (@cengizyar) has his #EyesOn the humanitarian crisis gripping Mosul, Iraq. Over the last six months, he’s documented the exodus of civilians from the besieged city, as Iraqi government forces continue an offensive to expel Islamic State fighters. “There’s a wide spectrum of emotions,” he says of the thousands of people fleeing their homes daily, in addition to the 300,000 who have already left since October. “It’s everything from extreme desperation to exhaustion to elation.”

Read more here.