Ashura. Blood way, is a photography project started in 2013 and following the Shiite muslims celebrations of Ashura holiday in Southern Lebanon, in a town of Nabatiyeh. It is the only place left in Lebanon that stages real-time reenactment of the battle of Karbala (October 10, 680 / 10th of Muharram, ah 61) and a traditionally bloody procession of believers (since 2014 women are participating as well).
The battle of Karbala saw Husayn ibn 'Ali, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and son of Ali, the fourth caliph, defeated and massacred by an army sent by the Umayyad caliph Yazid I. The battle helped secure the position of the Umayyad dynasty, but among Shiite Muslims (followers of al-Husayn) the 10th of Muharram (or 'Ashura') became an annual holy day of public mourning.
I focus the project & upcoming photo book on the individual experience of the participants. Every year there are thousands of people taking part in the procession - I want to get close to them as people. I want to take them 'out' of the crowd, of the group experience. Look into their eyes, follow their individual ways of expressing faith and dedication.