Karen Mirzoyan

Young Armenian photographer and photojournalist Karen Mirzoyan has been nominated for the 2008 World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass.

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About the Photograph – The Yezidis are a minority group in Armenia, part of a population that extends through Turkey, Georgia, Syria and Iraq. Many live a semi-nomadic life, as they have done for thousands of years, tending sheep and spending winter months in their villages, then moving to high mountain pastures in the spring, where today they live in old Soviet military tents. Yezidis practice a secretive and ancient religion, which predates Islam and appears to fuse aspects of Judaic, Zoroastrian and other local beliefs. Some controversy surrounds their identity. During the Soviet era, Yezidis were classified as non-Muslim Kurds. With the rise of national self-consciousness through the region in the 1980s, a revival of Yezidi identity occurred, and in 1989 the Armenian government declared them to be a separate ethnic group. Yet there remain strong divisions on issues of identity among the Yezidi themselves.

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Faith & Armenia

Karabakh – Unrecognized football
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Lebanon Bed in My Hand
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BELARUS by MirzOyan

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