21 May 2018

Famous war photographer talked to - Interview

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Famous war photographer Hady Kareka, who has been in hot points of war in Iraq, Syria, Africa and has been around terrorists for more than 12 years was guest of the news portal. presents you an interesting interview with photographer which includes information about his career, impressions and experience he had during his travel:

­­– When did you start your career?

– Twelve years ago.

– What inspired you? Why did you start career as a war photographer?

– I like war. When I was child I loved camera, my father’s friend was a photographer. I want to show people what’s going on in the world, make difference. It is not about money.

– For which media agencies do you work?

– I sell my works to different world media agencies. But, generally work with newspapers of Baghdad. They help me to get visa.

– Which country’s people were kind to you?

– Baghdad and Syria people were very kind; sometimes I didn’t even pay for my dinner. They knew me and didn’t take my money.

– How and when did you start your career as a war photographer?

– I have started with Baghdad, when USA military entered to the country. I followed milisia (people who fight against USA army ). It was really stupid start. Because, I have seen a lot of bad stuff. Stayed with them for 1 month.

– What did you did after 1 month with them?

– I started to contact with Baghdad government. Al - Qaeda is the real cause of trouble which was happening in city. I took photos of everything, what’s going on in country. Government liked it, but other countries like Jordan, Sudan, Qatar and Arabia didn’t. I stayed there for three years 2005, 2006, 2007. After that I traveled to Lebanon, Syria, Dubai, Qatar, Turkey, Bahrain, Kuwait, Gambia and South Africa.

– Tell your impressions Africa.

– When I started work in Africa, children were working 10 hours in a day. USA and Britain companies made them work more than 10 hours, I took pictures. I started a football school there for children.

– How could you afford expenses of football school?

– I found a sponsor from Sweden we bought clothes, a lot of football stuff for them. FC Gotland (a city in Sweden ) – the name of football team – there were 35 children in team.

– Were things going easy for you?

– It was very difficult when I started. It is about my style. Now I work with Iraqi military. And I work on myself now. When I take picture I sell them to different agencies. 15 percent of this money goes to children in Africa for football stuff.

– What was worst thing you have experienced in your career?

– I was under arrest of ISIS for one week.

– How did that happen?

­– At outside of Baghdad 4 men took me – they were like civilians and asked me for my passport. Then they told me follow them just for 5 minutes, asked questions like if you are from Norway, Britain, USA or Germany? I showed them that, I am from Sweden and I have an ID from UN. They told that they don’t believe and I started to talk in Swedish and write in Swedish. They told me to wait for one day. After one day they called a Swedish guy and told me where I live what I do and other private information of mine. When I was there they brought people every day. I heard Afghanese, Iraqian, Arabian and Iranian languages. They made me to change my clothes and asked if I am Muslim or not. I told, yes I am. And they asked questions about Islam. I told, I don’t know and they told that I have to start studying Koran and Sharia rules. There were heads in buckets at ISIS bases.

– Have you seen foreigners there?

– I saw a lot of people while travelling from European countries like Austria, Norway and France. They had a good life but they came and joined IS.

– Which areas can be considered as a “safe areas”?

– You are safe in Sunni areas but it is not same with Shiite areas. They kill men and steal women and make them sex slaves. They are “marrying” them one by one for five or four hours and raped them in front of their family members. And when woman resist they kill them also.

– What are your impressions about Baku?

– It is really nice here, but most of people don’t get my style and hair. I had trouble yesterday in city center. People were coming to me and trying to touch my hair, take photo with me. It makes me feel uncomfortable

– Do you have any published materials?

– Not yet. But my work “World’s angel” will be published next month.

2016.11.29 / 16:48
Valeh Mammadli, Rafiga Alisafa
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