January 23, 2012

New Delhi’s pride: its modern metro
Story and photos by Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff photographer

New Delhi Efficient, clean, air-conditioned, safe: The Delhi metro is a modern wonder amid India’s chaos. Sleek silver trains pull into stations like clockwork. Orderly commuters line up exactly where the train doors will open. There’s no pushing, no shoving. Uniformed attendants in the busiest stations usher passengers aboard. The classiness of this public transportation system seems to have imbued riders with heightened civility. (Perhaps someday even the “no spitting” signs won’t be necessary!)

Although photography is usually forbidden, given fears of terrorist attacks, I got special permission to take photographs at three stations for exactly one hour. (TV crews got only 15 minutes.) I must have been yelled at by 50 passengers who felt it their civic duty to tell me to stop. Fortunately, I had a letter of permission to brandish.

The first metro line opened in December 2006, under budget and three years ahead of schedule. When finished, the system will be bigger than the sprawling London Underground. Officials say the metro has kept more than 150,000 cars off the road, cutting pollutants in a big way. It has also acted as a stimulus for urban renewal. 

See photo gallery.

January 11, 2012
It was my last day in India. I was photographing the rickshaws underneath one of the new metro stations, engrossed in my composition. Suddenly I heard shouting. Suhasini, my translator, said: “They’re waving at you!” I looked up, and a whole busload of boys were pressed against the windows smiling, waving, yelling and blowing kisses. How could I resist? I took their photo and it ended up on the cover of our weekly magazine. Sometimes your favorite photos come at you out of nowhere. 

–Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff photographer

It was my last day in India. I was photographing the rickshaws underneath one of the new metro stations, engrossed in my composition. Suddenly I heard shouting. Suhasini, my translator, said: “They’re waving at you!” I looked up, and a whole busload of boys were pressed against the windows smiling, waving, yelling and blowing kisses. How could I resist? I took their photo and it ended up on the cover of our weekly magazine. Sometimes your favorite photos come at you out of nowhere. 

–Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff photographer

December 26, 2011

Our photographers hit the ground running this year.
By March, the tragic events in Japan and the fastbreaking
developments of the Arab Spring left us
nearly breathless. But there’s no timeout in the
news business. Social issues like education, gay
marriage, immigration, as well as economic issues
– thrown into sharp focus by the “Occupy” movement
– gave us opportunities to meet a cross section of Americans. And still
the news goes on: We look forward to the challenge and opportunity the new
year will surely bring. For now, here are some of our images we like best from
2011, some seen here for the first time.  See more

– Alfredo Sosa, director of photography

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Filed under: news photography 
December 12, 2011

Mexico drug war casualty: Citizenry suffers post-traumatic stress.

Outwardly, life seems normal; but as drug war kidnappings, extortion, and violence brush closer to the average citizen, experts say, the mental terrain looks like post-traumatic stress.  Read this Christian Science Monitor story

December 7, 2011

With less than 20,000 American troops left in Iraq from a peak of more than 170,000, US commanders say they are on track for a total withdrawal by December 31, which will end the 8 1/2-year US military presence in Iraq that saw the toppling of Saddam Hussein, a brutal civil war and insurgency, and finally a deadlocked democratic Iraqi government.

Photos by Scott Peterson/The Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images     

November 3, 2011

Earth welcomed its 7 billionth human late last month, according to
the United Nations Population Fund, an event greeted with both
hope and sober reflection.
The world’s population growth is slowing. Growth peaked in 1963,
at 2.2 percent per year, and began to decline. By 2009, it stood at 1.1
percent. Earth’s population will continue to grow, experts predict, but
more and more slowly, perhaps stabilizing by 2050 between 8 billion and
10 billion. Two undeniably positive trends help drive that decline: rising
levels of learning and gender equity for girls and women, which fuel
opportunity and prosperity – and result in smaller, better-off families.
Experts foresee a huge rise in middle-class incomes worldwide and a
corresponding decline in those who are abjectly poor.
On a macro level, access to food, clean water, jobs, safety, and justice
for all those people remains a huge and vexing problem. On a micro
level, as seen through the lenses of Monitor photographers, the elation
of activity, the pride of parenthood, the satisfaction of accomplishment
remain human universals and sources of comfort and joy. Check out the full gallery of our staff photos.

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Filed under: news csmonitor people global 
October 20, 2011

Top image: Manal Saber holds her child in the makeshift home she and her extended family have created out of an abandon water well near an orange field in Beit Hanon, Friday, September 30, 2011. Abel Al Rauf, the head of the family, is allowed to live on the site with 17 of his family members in return for guarding the orange grove which has been leveled by bombs twice in the past 10 years. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency classifies Al Rauf and his family as under the poverty line, “It is uncountable, the people here living like me,” Al Rauf says. 

Bottom left: Zaki Al Ajrami lifts his hands to the sky at the sound of evening prayers to say, “Oh God, help me to change my situation,” outside his home in Jabalia on Friday, September 30, 2011.  Ajrami, who has been unemployed since the end of his farming work in Israel in 1998, lives in a three room building with his two wives and 14 children. The family lives off of loans and food supplies from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Ajrami has been unable to find permanent work in the area, “Where? There are no opportunities for work in Gaza,” he says. 

Bottom right: A man washes his work horse in the ocean along the outskirts of the Al-Shati camp on the beach in Gaza City on Friday, September 30, 2011. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency reports that there are over 80,000 refugees in Al-Shati, which is the third largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. 

Ann Hermes/Staff

October 19, 2011

I went at dawn to the Gaza City port to photograph the fishermen unloading their daily catch to be transported to local markets.  Fishermen in Gaza deal with the threat of being detained or fired at by  Israeli military forces past the 3 mile blockade from the shoreline. Contaminated fish are also a problem as proper waste water management remains a serious issue for the Gaza Strip. 

Ann Hermes/Staff

October 18, 2011

I recently returned from an assignment to photograph daily life in the Gaza Strip. I crossed through the Rafah border from Egypt and spent 5 days documenting everything from education to the fishing industry. Here are a few street scenes from in and around Gaza City. More to come in the following days. 

Ann Hermes/Staff

Top image: A child walks along the outskirts of the Al-Shati refugee camp on the beach in Gaza City on Friday, September 30, 2011. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency reports that there are over 80,000 refugees in Al-Shati, which is the third largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. 

Center left: A ferris wheel sits in Al Bashir Joyland, a carnival in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, October 1, 2011.

Center right: Sunrise just outside of Gaza City on Saturday, October 1, 2011. 

Bottom: A man makes his way towards Rafah city at dawn in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, October 1, 2011. 

October 6, 2011
An Occupy Wall Street protestor in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park holds a sign to protest corporate greed. Demonstrators have been camped out in the park for days.

I was in New York yesterday for a couple photo assignments and stopped by the park to see the show. Demonstrators there were so organized they had a food line with free pizza, salads, water, etcetera. Their speaker system consisted of one person yelling out announcements and having everyone nearby repeat it loudly so all could hear. There was a poster-making section and sleeping areas covered in blue tarps. The walkways were swarming with tourists and journalists. Bands on the edges played music and many sang along. It was quite a festive atmosphere.
Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff photographer

An Occupy Wall Street protestor in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park holds a sign to protest corporate greed. Demonstrators have been camped out in the park for days.

I was in New York yesterday for a couple photo assignments and stopped by the park to see the show. Demonstrators there were so organized they had a food line with free pizza, salads, water, etcetera. Their speaker system consisted of one person yelling out announcements and having everyone nearby repeat it loudly so all could hear. There was a poster-making section and sleeping areas covered in blue tarps. The walkways were swarming with tourists and journalists. Bands on the edges played music and many sang along. It was quite a festive atmosphere.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff photographer

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