Bishwa Ijtema 2015 in Bangladesh for Getty

As a woman, even in an abaya and hijab, this was a real challenge to cover. Women generally aren’t allowed onto the prayer grounds and are forced outside onto the pavement to pray. Every time I went inside I had work quickly and was constantly chased out by guards with sticks, but I generally don’t take “no” for an answer and I’m pretty happy with what I got.

“The Bishwa Ijtema in Tongi, Bangladesh, is the second largest gathering of Muslims in the world, after the Hajj, and is organized by World Tablig Council, which preaches teachings of Islam and prophet Mohammad.”

 

Muslims Gather For The Bishwa Ijtema Annual Congregation Muslims Gather For The Bishwa Ijtema Annual Congregation Muslims Gather For The Bishwa Ijtema Annual Congregation Muslims Gather For The Bishwa Ijtema Annual Congregation Muslims Gather For The Bishwa Ijtema Annual Congregation Muslims Gather For The Bishwa Ijtema Annual Congregation Muslims Gather For The Bishwa Ijtema Annual Congregation Muslims Gather For The Bishwa Ijtema Annual Congregation Muslims Gather For The Bishwa Ijtema Annual Congregation

Hijra Pride 2014 for Getty

This was so much fun to cover. It was the first every Hijra pride event in Bangladesh, and people came from all over the country to celebrate in Dhaka. You could really feel the happiness and excitement.

“Hijras (transgenders) participate in the first ever Hijra Pride celebration in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  In 2013 Bangladesh officially recognized Hijras as a third gender, though homosexuality still remains illegal. Despite these strides Hijras continue to face violence and harassment as part of their daily life in Bangladesh.”

Hijra Pride Festival 2014 Hijra Pride Festival 2014 Hijra Pride Festival 2014 Hijra Pride Festival 2014 Hijra Pride Festival 2014

Uranium and coal mining in India for Bloomberg

Last year I got these two assignments for Bloomberg in India. It’s so shocking that things like this still happen in 2014. Both of these ended up being included in the series that won the Asia Society Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism on Asia

 

What’s Killing the Children in Jadugora, India?

“For years, these desperately poor people living in scattered villages in the shadow of these mines have been tormented by a mystery: What’s causing the wasting diseases that are deforming and killing so many of their children?”

0104 03 02Check out the full report by by Rakteem Katakey, Rajesh Kumar Singh and Tom Lasseter here

 

Toxic Pool Creeping Across India Kills Thousands of Kids Day by Day

“One by one, children began to die, often in agony and exhibiting similar symptoms: convulsions, burning pain in the extremities, nausea, vomiting, fever and diarrhea. By the end of 2011, parents buried 53 of them in this forested hill country village.”

10 11 12 13 14 15

 

Full report by Rakteem Katakey and Rajesh Kumar Singh here

 

Snapshots of life in Dhaka and elsewhere

I stopped taking my “real” cameras out with me when I’m not on assignment long ago and the past few years Instagram has been a sort of diary for me. I find writing almost as fun as a root canal, so Instagram has been a great quick and fun tool to document my daily life. Here’s a few highlights from May onwards of this year.

http://instagram.com/allisonsarahjoyce

INSTAGRAM_blog_ASJ_01 May in Dhaka was a bit slow with work but pretty busy with friends and goodbye parties. This town is almost as transient as New York was. INSTAGRAM_blog_ASJ_02 I got a last minute assignment in India for Bloomberg and it led to almost 6 weeks of wandering around India and Sri Lanka. INSTAGRAM_blog_ASJ_03 Sri Lanka was a breathtakingly beautiful, fun and epic 4 weeks. Met lots of old and new friends and got one shit show failure of an assignment that I hope to be able to talk about publicly one day.. INSTAGRAM_blog_ASJ_04 Then back to Dhaka. Right back to work and signed a lease on a new apartment with 3 awesome new flatmates. INSTAGRAM_blog_ASJ_05 Spent a good two weeks around Manikganj and Pabna, one failed Bede story turned into a pretty successful 10 days covering mental health. I hope to publish that story soon. INSTAGRAM_blog_ASJ_06 Child marriage, Pabna, then back to India for an assignment from Cosmopolitan magazine and a (finally) successful visa run. INSTAGRAM_blog_ASJ_08Some snapshots of flooding in the north of Bangladesh, the surf girls, camera repair, a fire in Gulshan and 1/2 of my Frenchie flatmates INSTAGRAM_blog_ASJ_07My cameras drowned in an assignment up north so I took the opportunity while they were being repaired to go down to Coxs Bazar to hang out with Venessa, Rashed and the surf girls. Hadn’t seen them since April and it was awesome to get to spend time with them again. A different dynamic not to have my cameras on me!

Flooding and river erosion threaten homes and livelihoods in northern Bangladesh

Bangladesh Struggles To Recover Following Severe & Widespread Flooding A family shelters from the rain under their roof while they move their home that is threatened by river erosion in the Kalashuna village in Gaibandha district of Bangladesh. In the past month Kalashuna village has had 600 homes washed away due to river erosion. In August severe flooding displaced hundreds of thousands of people and led to rapid and severe river erosion which continues to wipe away hundreds of homes each week. The country’s inter-agency joint needs assessment described the situation as ‘the most severe floods the country has faced since the mega-flood of 2007’. The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society recently put out a report asking the international community for 2.3 million dollars for relief aid.

 

Bangladesh Struggles To Recover Following Severe & Widespread Flooding Men who are moving a home that is threatened by river erosion walk through a flooded field

Bangladesh Struggles To Recover Following Severe & Widespread Flooding  A woman moves belongings from a home that is threatened by river erosion

Bangladesh Struggles To Recover Following Severe & Widespread Flooding A man watches a piece of land fall into a river

Bangladesh Struggles To Recover Following Severe & Widespread Flooding Men move a home that is threatened by river erosion

Bangladesh Struggles To Recover Following Severe & Widespread Flooding A house that was threatened by river erosion is moved to a safer location in the Kalashuna village in Gaibandha district of Bangladesh

Bangladesh Struggles To Recover Following Severe & Widespread Flooding Women who lost their homes during flooding sit outside their temporary tents in the Karpasia village in Gaibandha district of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Struggles To Recover Following Severe & Widespread Flooding 11 year old Mohammad Ashadul stands in the rain in front of temporary housing and a body of water that was a field last month

Bangladesh Struggles To Recover Following Severe & Widespread Flooding Women move possessions from their home that is threatened by river erosion

Bangladesh Struggles To Recover Following Severe & Widespread Flooding A house that was threatened by river erosion is moved to a safer location

Bangladesh Struggles To Recover Following Severe & Widespread Flooding Woman whose home has been washed away by river erosion are seen outside their temporary tent in the Karpasia village in Gaibandha district of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Struggles To Recover Following Severe & Widespread Flooding  A house that was threatened by river erosion is moved to a safer location

Bangladesh Struggles To Recover Following Severe & Widespread Flooding A girl whose home is threatened by river erosion sits on a boat while her family moves

Bangladesh Struggles To Recover Following Severe & Widespread Flooding A woman who lost her home during flooding sit outside her temporary tent in the Karpasia village in Gaibandha district of Bangladesh.

Floating hospitals and schools in Bangladesh

A Floating School, Hospital, & Technology Center Supports Remote Communities In Bangladesh Women wait for the Emirates Friendship Floating Hospital to open its gates in Chilmari district, Bangladesh. Friendship floating hospitals dock for up to 5 months at remote islands, or “chors”, in the north of Bangladesh with a full medical team and stocked pharmacy, providing health care at affordable cost. About 3 million people live on geographically isolated islands, known as “chors”, with no roads, no electricity, and no medical facilities. Every year, the nation is inundated with monsoonal rains which can flood up to two thirds of the country. Approximately 10 million people live in parts of Bangladesh lying less than a meter above current sea levels.

A Floating School, Hospital, & Technology Center Supports Remote Communities In Bangladesh A Floating School, Hospital, & Technology Center Supports Remote Communities In Bangladesh A Floating School, Hospital, & Technology Center Supports Remote Communities In Bangladesh A Floating School, Hospital, & Technology Center Supports Remote Communities In Bangladesh A Floating School, Hospital, & Technology Center Supports Remote Communities In Bangladesh A Floating School, Hospital, & Technology Center Supports Remote Communities In Bangladesh Kids play in a river in front of a floating health care clinic operated by Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha in Pabna district, Bangladesh.

A Floating School, Hospital, & Technology Center Supports Remote Communities In Bangladesh A Floating School, Hospital, & Technology Center Supports Remote Communities In Bangladesh Children attend class in a  solar powered “floating school” operated by Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha in Pabna district, Bangladesh.

A Floating School, Hospital, & Technology Center Supports Remote Communities In Bangladesh A Floating School, Hospital, & Technology Center Supports Remote Communities In Bangladesh A Floating School, Hospital, & Technology Center Supports Remote Communities In Bangladesh

Eid al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha in Dhaka

Bangladeshi Muslims Prepare For Eid Al-Adha CelebrationsBangladeshi Muslims climb on the roof of an overcrowded train as they head to their homes the day before the Eid-al-Adha Festival in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Bangladeshi Muslims Prepare For Eid Al-Adha Celebrations Bangladeshi Muslimes Gather For Eid Al-Adha Celebrations People attend prayer outside the National Mosque during the Eid-al-Adha holiday in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi Muslimes Gather For Eid Al-Adha Celebrations Bangladeshi Muslimes Gather For Eid Al-Adha Celebrations Eid Celebrations Mark The End Of Ramadan A boy turns around as women pray at the National Mosque, Baitul Mukarram, during Eid al-Fitr in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Eid Celebrations Mark The End Of Ramadan Bangladeshi Muslimes Gather For Eid Al-Adha Celebrations Eid Celebrations Mark The End Of Ramadan Bangladeshi Muslimes Gather For Eid Al-Adha Celebrations

Blood from sacrificed animals runs into a sewer during the Eid-al-Adha holiday in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi Muslimes Gather For Eid Al-Adha Celebrations A man is reflected in a pool of blood as he cuts up a cow that has been slaughtered during the Eid-al-Adha holiday in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi Muslimes Gather For Eid Al-Adha Celebrations Bangladeshi Muslimes Gather For Eid Al-Adha Celebrations A mans bloody hand hangs by his side after he slaughtered a cow during the Eid-al-Adha holiday in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi Muslimes Gather For Eid Al-Adha CelebrationsA cow sheds a tear as he watches animals being slaughtered during the Eid-al-Adha holiday in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Last month Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN special rapporteur on Human Rights, said that recent developments in Myanmar’s Rakhine state were the latest in a ‘long history of discrimination and persecution against the Rohingya Muslim community which could amount to crimes against humanity’, and that the Myanmar government’s decision not to allow Rohingya Muslims to register their ethnicity in the March census meant that the population tally was not in accordance with international standards. Over the years hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have taken refuge in Bangladesh to escape the deadly sectarian violence in Myanmar

Rohinga Refugees In Bangladesh 7 year old Shumiakter helps her 5 year old sister Rubiata swing on a rope outside their home in the Shamalapur Rohingya refugee settlement in Chittagong district, Bangladesh. 15 years ago after their grandparents were killed in the sectarian violence in Myanmar their parents fled to Bangladesh.

Rohinga Refugees In Bangladesh Rajama sits in the doorway of her home in the Shamalapur Rohingya refugee settlement in Chittagong district, Bangladesh. She fled to Bangladesh 5 months ago from the Dhuachopara village in the Rachidhong district of Myanmar. The Chakma people came on a Friday during prayer time in a giant mob and started burning houses and burning people alive. They beat her father and brother, and then they opened fired and started shooting and killing people at random. A group of people fled to the mosque and the Chakma followed, opening fire inside. Her father fled to the ocean and escaped to Bangladesh by boat. Rajama came to Bangladesh 3 days after the riot to find her father. When she arrived in the port of Teknaf the dock workers held her captive for 3 days with no food or water. They beat her and abused her before letting her go. She has 7 siblings back in Myanmar who were not able to escape. ‘I miss my family, but how can I miss them? I want to live.’ she says.

Rohinga Refugees In Bangladesh

Rohingya refugees push a boat to land in the Shamalapur Rohingya refugee settlement

Rohinga Refugees In Bangladesh Rohinga Refugees In Bangladesh 32 year old Mahada Khatum, 5 year old Hasan Sharif, and 9 year old Umma Kulsum are seen outside their home in the Shamalapur Rohingya refugee settlement on April 11, 2014 in Chittagong district, Bangladesh. 12 years ago the family escaped violence and discrimination from the Zomgara Baharchara village in the Meherulla district of Myanmar.

Rohinga Refugees In Bangladesh