ifa blog

Interviews, essays, reports – in the ifa blog, the diverse topics of the ifa are vividly presented in various formats.

Founder Mehriban Zeynalova hugs a woman in front of her shelter. Photograph: Ismayil Fataliyev

'They gave me a chance': refuge for abused Azerbaijani women

The Baku shelter, run by someone who spent years homeless and on the streets, helps 650 mothers and children annually.

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Three transgender people sitting in a room. On the left a pink traditional cloth from Pakistan. They sit in a room with clothes on a table to sell them on their youtube channel. Photograph: Muhammad Abuzar

Giving voice to Pakistan’s transgender community 

In the closed world of Pakistani society, Sonia Naz is a strong and supportive voice for the transgender community - but it took a terrible attack to give her the strength to speak out.

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House in Kiyv with entrance in the colours of the Ukrainian flag. Photograph: Marjan Blan via unsplash

7 voices on Ukraine

Activists from seven neighboring countries of Russia and Ukraine share their views on the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

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Kabul and the Lessons to be Learned

After the Western failure in Afghanistan, it is very obvious that cultural foreign policy must either have a clear long-term commitment or explicitly state that assistance is temporary ...

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Between the Taliban's Takeover and Scant Financial Funding

Peter Schwittek founded the Ofarin organisation which has been educating Afghan girls in mosques for more than two decades. After the rise of the Taliban, Ofarin's activities have been ...

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All Colours – the Fight for Trans Rights in Pakistan

Pakistan is known to be a conservative country. Still, in 2018 the Pakistani government passed one of the world's most progressive trans rights bills. Kami Sid and Hina of the NGO Sub ...

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A woman participates in a military drill for civilians. Photograph: Wyatt Dilley via unsplash

Last time Andriy was in high heels - now he’s taken up arms

It was a week when Ukrainians saw their lives upturned. The celebrated artist reveals her fears but also the pride felt in the resilience of her peers.

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Metaphor for enlightenment. A flock of birds flies out of a head. A man climbs up a spiral staircase to the open head. In the background clouds, a skyline and a tree.

We Need a New Enlightenment

Previous concepts of progress have failed. Our oceans are polluted, the climate is changing, we are ravaged by diseases, hunger is proliferating, and black bodies are drowning in oceans ...

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Rania teaching a young woman how to ride bicycle. Photograph: Samar Abou Elouf

The Gaza ladies' bicycle club

After helping her daughter survive cancer, Rania Shaik dedicated herself to bringing joy to the women of Gaza by setting them loose on two wheels.

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