Azad Maidan, Bombay

Azad Maidan is a trangular-shaped cricket ground located in south Bombay. The name Azad means "free" in Hindi . The ground is known for its cricket pitches, for protest meetings, and for political rallies.

During the struggle for India's independence, leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri used to address huge crowds here.

On Sundays, many of the city's youth play cricket here. Each wicket and surrounding square is owned by 'clubs', including the Sassanian Club, Fort Vijay, Parsee Cyclists, etc.

Wazir Akbar Khan, Kabul

On top of Wazir Akbar Khan's hill, overlooking Kabul, kids play in the Soviet built Olympic swimming pool. In winter time, the place is usually used for dog fighting.

Since the war broke out just after its completion, water was never poured into the pool. The only way it really ever existed as a swimming pool is when rain falls on Kabul, filling up the deep corners of the massive concrete bassin, allowing kids to dive and swim.

Kos, Greece, 06.09

Yaya Katina, is 93 years old. She lives in Lagoudi, on the island of Kos in Greece. I met her through the years, when visiting my mother. She has 11 children, who all live abroad with their families. She spends most of her days barefoot, has no electricity in her house, neither hot water. From time to time she goes for a walk behind the village to collect a few flowers and sit down by a crossroad, where the hesitating tourists pass-by in their rental cars without even noticing her. She has witnessed almost a century of history on her island, from the Turkish occupation to the tourists invasion.

Beyruth, Lebanon, 07.09

Heritage from my great grand mother, Eugènie Boulad
Damas, Syria, 07.09

In the Haret-e-Boulad

The street sign in the Haret-e-Boulad, where the family used to live and forge swords .

Door of one of the houses of the family, Haret-e-Boulad, in Baab Touma.

Elias Boulad, a far cousin, still living near the Haret-e-Boulad.

My great grandmother's family, the Boulads, is originally from Damascus. But my great grandmother lived in Alexandria, Egypt, where she married my great grandfather William Mustaki Della Torre in the 1920's. The Boulads played an important role during the glory years of the Silk Road, as they used to hold the secret tradition of sword making in Damascus. In 1401, when Tamerlan sacked the city, a few members of the family were taken to Samarkand to continue their art and produce swords for the Mongols. Their name became Fulaz, which today means steel in Arabic and Persian.

Far right, my great grand mother at a reception in Alexandria in the 40's.

For more information concerning the story of the Boulad family
(© Julien Boulad)


Damas, Syria, 07.09


IWA project - Shamali, Afghanistan 06.09

A visit of a village and a school in Shamali for Integrity Watch Afghanistan in june 2009. A video report on corruption within public structures and building.