The decaying carcass of an Antonov 26 cargo plane decorates the airfield in Yida, South Sudan. Only 26 kms from Sudan, it is not uncommon to see Sudanese aircraft flying in to supply rebels fighting against the government in South Sudan.

The decaying carcass of an Antonov 26 cargo plane decorates the airfield in Yida, South Sudan. Only 26 kms from Sudan, it is not uncommon to see Sudanese aircraft flying in to supply rebels fighting against the government in South Sudan.

 Showing up early to Nuba wrestling matches in Yida is sound advice. Before the match begins around 5,000 people gather to take part in tribal festivities. Sitting atop a termite mound, this man probably has the best seat in the house.

Showing up early to Nuba wrestling matches in Yida is sound advice. Before the match begins around 5,000 people gather to take part in tribal festivities. Sitting atop a termite mound, this man probably has the best seat in the house.

 A handful of spectators gather to watch a Sunday evening nuba wrestling match. Over 70,000 refugees from the Nuba Mountains now reside in Yida, South Sudan. According to the news website, Nuba Reports, the Sudanese Air Force has dropped an average of two bombs a day in the region in the last year.

A handful of spectators gather to watch a Sunday evening nuba wrestling match. Over 70,000 refugees from the Nuba Mountains now reside in Yida, South Sudan. According to the news website, Nuba Reports, the Sudanese Air Force has dropped an average of two bombs a day in the region in the last year.

 A handful of spectators gather to watch a Sunday evening nuba wrestling match. Over 70,000 refugees from the Nuba Mountains now reside in Yida, South Sudan. According to the news website, Nuba Reports, the Sudanese Air Force has dropped an average of two bombs a day in the region in the last year.

A handful of spectators gather to watch a Sunday evening nuba wrestling match. Over 70,000 refugees from the Nuba Mountains now reside in Yida, South Sudan. According to the news website, Nuba Reports, the Sudanese Air Force has dropped an average of two bombs a day in the region in the last year.

 Wrestling crowd   

Wrestling crowd

 

 Good friends hang out before the weekly Nuba wrestling match in Yida, South Sudan. Matches usually garner around 5,000 spectators.

Good friends hang out before the weekly Nuba wrestling match in Yida, South Sudan. Matches usually garner around 5,000 spectators.

 Nuba wrestling matches bring the Yida community together like nothing else. Taking advantage of the crowd, this man steals an opportunity to preach the word of God to a few spectators.

Nuba wrestling matches bring the Yida community together like nothing else. Taking advantage of the crowd, this man steals an opportunity to preach the word of God to a few spectators.

 Each tribe shows support for their wrestlers. Many bring homemade banners complete with commercial branding.

Each tribe shows support for their wrestlers. Many bring homemade banners complete with commercial branding.

 Tribal cheerleaders dance before a wrestling match in Yida. They tie cans and other noisemakers to their ankles to pump up the crowd and bring luck to fighters.

Tribal cheerleaders dance before a wrestling match in Yida. They tie cans and other noisemakers to their ankles to pump up the crowd and bring luck to fighters.

 A group of fans wrestling fans make their way around the pitch to pump up the crowd and celebrate their wrestlers.

A group of fans wrestling fans make their way around the pitch to pump up the crowd and celebrate their wrestlers.

 The wrestling pitch is about the size of a soccer field. In the center of the rectangle is a large circle within which the wrestlers battle it out. To make sure the crowd doesn't  jump into the action themselves, the elders utilize crowd control specialists who whip them back into place.

The wrestling pitch is about the size of a soccer field. In the center of the rectangle is a large circle within which the wrestlers battle it out. To make sure the crowd doesn't  jump into the action themselves, the elders utilize crowd control specialists who whip them back into place.

 Post traumatic stress is suffered by most people in this region of the world. Suzanne Filimone, a 27 year old mother, fled the Nuba Mountains for Yida, South Sudan last year after Sudanese Antonovs barrel bombed her village. She suffers from severe panic attacks and fainting spells.

Post traumatic stress is suffered by most people in this region of the world. Suzanne Filimone, a 27 year old mother, fled the Nuba Mountains for Yida, South Sudan last year after Sudanese Antonovs barrel bombed her village. She suffers from severe panic attacks and fainting spells.

 An Islamic man from the Nuba mountains waits for the fighting to begin. Many families in the Nuba mountains are mixed religion. The chairman of the local Sudanese Refugee Council says that it is not uncommon to have a Christian father, an Muslim wife, and a child who is an atheist. Animistic religions are often woven into these more widely known practices.

An Islamic man from the Nuba mountains waits for the fighting to begin. Many families in the Nuba mountains are mixed religion. The chairman of the local Sudanese Refugee Council says that it is not uncommon to have a Christian father, an Muslim wife, and a child who is an atheist. Animistic religions are often woven into these more widely known practices.

 Referees set down the guidelines before the wrestling matches gets underway.

Referees set down the guidelines before the wrestling matches gets underway.

 23-year-old Nourdeem Mustafa al-Nour, in the white t-shirt, battles it out with an opponent from another tribe. An accomplished fighter, Nourdeem says that he does not want to be wrestling this time next year. His dream is to go to school to become a doctor.

23-year-old Nourdeem Mustafa al-Nour, in the white t-shirt, battles it out with an opponent from another tribe. An accomplished fighter, Nourdeem says that he does not want to be wrestling this time next year. His dream is to go to school to become a doctor.

 Nourdeem Mustafa al-Nour, in the white t-shirt, narrowly escapes being pinned by his opponent.

Nourdeem Mustafa al-Nour, in the white t-shirt, narrowly escapes being pinned by his opponent.

 In the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, wrestling has traditionally been practiced completely naked. Competitors were only covered in a white ash or cow butter. To the lament of some of the elders, times have changed and most young wrestlers now wear athletic shorts and t-shirts.The regime in Khartoum has banned wrestling and Yida provides a place where people are able to carry on their traditions in peace.

In the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, wrestling has traditionally been practiced completely naked. Competitors were only covered in a white ash or cow butter. To the lament of some of the elders, times have changed and most young wrestlers now wear athletic shorts and t-shirts.The regime in Khartoum has banned wrestling and Yida provides a place where people are able to carry on their traditions in peace.

 Crowd control is serious business at the wrestling matches. And fans who cross the line onto the pitch recieve a painful reminder to stay out of the way.

Crowd control is serious business at the wrestling matches. And fans who cross the line onto the pitch recieve a painful reminder to stay out of the way.

 Wrestling is in Zeber Reka's blood. The traditions and techniques that have been passed down for generations find new life in the relative safety of Yida, South Sudan.

Wrestling is in Zeber Reka's blood. The traditions and techniques that have been passed down for generations find new life in the relative safety of Yida, South Sudan.

 19-year-old Zeber Reka, right, squares off against his first opponent of the evening. Zeber made the dangerous journey from the Nuba Mountains after enduring the constant aerial bombing by the Sudanese Air Force. Zeber said that he has "seen people's legs cut off, their heads severed by exploding bombs."

19-year-old Zeber Reka, right, squares off against his first opponent of the evening. Zeber made the dangerous journey from the Nuba Mountains after enduring the constant aerial bombing by the Sudanese Air Force. Zeber said that he has "seen people's legs cut off, their heads severed by exploding bombs."

 Lauded as one of the best wrestlers in Yida, Zeber Reka, has taken the stage name of John Cena, the popluar American WWE wrestler.

Lauded as one of the best wrestlers in Yida, Zeber Reka, has taken the stage name of John Cena, the popluar American WWE wrestler.

 Zeber Reka and Nourdeem Mustafa al-Nour fight in the final match of the day. It's close but Nourdeem finally sucumbs and buckles under the weight of Zeber's heaping muscles. The crowd of over 5,000 erupts in cheering.

Zeber Reka and Nourdeem Mustafa al-Nour fight in the final match of the day. It's close but Nourdeem finally sucumbs and buckles under the weight of Zeber's heaping muscles. The crowd of over 5,000 erupts in cheering.

 Zeber Reka is widely thought of as the best wrestler in Yida, South Sudan. More than anything else he dreams of traveling to a country like the United States where he can learn proper wrestling techniques and compete on an official level.

Zeber Reka is widely thought of as the best wrestler in Yida, South Sudan. More than anything else he dreams of traveling to a country like the United States where he can learn proper wrestling techniques and compete on an official level.

 Zeber Reka is widely thought of as the best wrestler in Yida, South Sudan. More than anything else he dreams of traveling to a country like the United States where he can learn proper wrestling techniques and compete on an official level.

Zeber Reka is widely thought of as the best wrestler in Yida, South Sudan. More than anything else he dreams of traveling to a country like the United States where he can learn proper wrestling techniques and compete on an official level.

 UNMISS soldiers from MONGBATT (Mongolia Battalion) provide security for the Yida refugee settlement. Housed in the UNHCR compund, they regularly go out on patrols in the community and guard the airfield.

UNMISS soldiers from MONGBATT (Mongolia Battalion) provide security for the Yida refugee settlement. Housed in the UNHCR compund, they regularly go out on patrols in the community and guard the airfield.

 The decaying carcass of an Antonov 26 cargo plane decorates the airfield in Yida, South Sudan. Only 26 kms from Sudan, it is not uncommon to see Sudanese aircraft flying in to supply rebels fighting against the government in South Sudan.
 Showing up early to Nuba wrestling matches in Yida is sound advice. Before the match begins around 5,000 people gather to take part in tribal festivities. Sitting atop a termite mound, this man probably has the best seat in the house.
 A handful of spectators gather to watch a Sunday evening nuba wrestling match. Over 70,000 refugees from the Nuba Mountains now reside in Yida, South Sudan. According to the news website, Nuba Reports, the Sudanese Air Force has dropped an average of two bombs a day in the region in the last year.
 A handful of spectators gather to watch a Sunday evening nuba wrestling match. Over 70,000 refugees from the Nuba Mountains now reside in Yida, South Sudan. According to the news website, Nuba Reports, the Sudanese Air Force has dropped an average of two bombs a day in the region in the last year.
 Wrestling crowd   
 Good friends hang out before the weekly Nuba wrestling match in Yida, South Sudan. Matches usually garner around 5,000 spectators.
 Nuba wrestling matches bring the Yida community together like nothing else. Taking advantage of the crowd, this man steals an opportunity to preach the word of God to a few spectators.
 Each tribe shows support for their wrestlers. Many bring homemade banners complete with commercial branding.
 Tribal cheerleaders dance before a wrestling match in Yida. They tie cans and other noisemakers to their ankles to pump up the crowd and bring luck to fighters.
 A group of fans wrestling fans make their way around the pitch to pump up the crowd and celebrate their wrestlers.
 The wrestling pitch is about the size of a soccer field. In the center of the rectangle is a large circle within which the wrestlers battle it out. To make sure the crowd doesn't  jump into the action themselves, the elders utilize crowd control specialists who whip them back into place.
 Post traumatic stress is suffered by most people in this region of the world. Suzanne Filimone, a 27 year old mother, fled the Nuba Mountains for Yida, South Sudan last year after Sudanese Antonovs barrel bombed her village. She suffers from severe panic attacks and fainting spells.
 An Islamic man from the Nuba mountains waits for the fighting to begin. Many families in the Nuba mountains are mixed religion. The chairman of the local Sudanese Refugee Council says that it is not uncommon to have a Christian father, an Muslim wife, and a child who is an atheist. Animistic religions are often woven into these more widely known practices.
 Referees set down the guidelines before the wrestling matches gets underway.
 23-year-old Nourdeem Mustafa al-Nour, in the white t-shirt, battles it out with an opponent from another tribe. An accomplished fighter, Nourdeem says that he does not want to be wrestling this time next year. His dream is to go to school to become a doctor.
 Nourdeem Mustafa al-Nour, in the white t-shirt, narrowly escapes being pinned by his opponent.
 In the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, wrestling has traditionally been practiced completely naked. Competitors were only covered in a white ash or cow butter. To the lament of some of the elders, times have changed and most young wrestlers now wear athletic shorts and t-shirts.The regime in Khartoum has banned wrestling and Yida provides a place where people are able to carry on their traditions in peace.
 Crowd control is serious business at the wrestling matches. And fans who cross the line onto the pitch recieve a painful reminder to stay out of the way.
 Wrestling is in Zeber Reka's blood. The traditions and techniques that have been passed down for generations find new life in the relative safety of Yida, South Sudan.
 19-year-old Zeber Reka, right, squares off against his first opponent of the evening. Zeber made the dangerous journey from the Nuba Mountains after enduring the constant aerial bombing by the Sudanese Air Force. Zeber said that he has "seen people's legs cut off, their heads severed by exploding bombs."
 Lauded as one of the best wrestlers in Yida, Zeber Reka, has taken the stage name of John Cena, the popluar American WWE wrestler.
 Zeber Reka and Nourdeem Mustafa al-Nour fight in the final match of the day. It's close but Nourdeem finally sucumbs and buckles under the weight of Zeber's heaping muscles. The crowd of over 5,000 erupts in cheering.
 Zeber Reka is widely thought of as the best wrestler in Yida, South Sudan. More than anything else he dreams of traveling to a country like the United States where he can learn proper wrestling techniques and compete on an official level.
 Zeber Reka is widely thought of as the best wrestler in Yida, South Sudan. More than anything else he dreams of traveling to a country like the United States where he can learn proper wrestling techniques and compete on an official level.
 UNMISS soldiers from MONGBATT (Mongolia Battalion) provide security for the Yida refugee settlement. Housed in the UNHCR compund, they regularly go out on patrols in the community and guard the airfield.

The decaying carcass of an Antonov 26 cargo plane decorates the airfield in Yida, South Sudan. Only 26 kms from Sudan, it is not uncommon to see Sudanese aircraft flying in to supply rebels fighting against the government in South Sudan.

Showing up early to Nuba wrestling matches in Yida is sound advice. Before the match begins around 5,000 people gather to take part in tribal festivities. Sitting atop a termite mound, this man probably has the best seat in the house.

A handful of spectators gather to watch a Sunday evening nuba wrestling match. Over 70,000 refugees from the Nuba Mountains now reside in Yida, South Sudan. According to the news website, Nuba Reports, the Sudanese Air Force has dropped an average of two bombs a day in the region in the last year.

A handful of spectators gather to watch a Sunday evening nuba wrestling match. Over 70,000 refugees from the Nuba Mountains now reside in Yida, South Sudan. According to the news website, Nuba Reports, the Sudanese Air Force has dropped an average of two bombs a day in the region in the last year.

Wrestling crowd

 

Good friends hang out before the weekly Nuba wrestling match in Yida, South Sudan. Matches usually garner around 5,000 spectators.

Nuba wrestling matches bring the Yida community together like nothing else. Taking advantage of the crowd, this man steals an opportunity to preach the word of God to a few spectators.

Each tribe shows support for their wrestlers. Many bring homemade banners complete with commercial branding.

Tribal cheerleaders dance before a wrestling match in Yida. They tie cans and other noisemakers to their ankles to pump up the crowd and bring luck to fighters.

A group of fans wrestling fans make their way around the pitch to pump up the crowd and celebrate their wrestlers.

The wrestling pitch is about the size of a soccer field. In the center of the rectangle is a large circle within which the wrestlers battle it out. To make sure the crowd doesn't  jump into the action themselves, the elders utilize crowd control specialists who whip them back into place.

Post traumatic stress is suffered by most people in this region of the world. Suzanne Filimone, a 27 year old mother, fled the Nuba Mountains for Yida, South Sudan last year after Sudanese Antonovs barrel bombed her village. She suffers from severe panic attacks and fainting spells.

An Islamic man from the Nuba mountains waits for the fighting to begin. Many families in the Nuba mountains are mixed religion. The chairman of the local Sudanese Refugee Council says that it is not uncommon to have a Christian father, an Muslim wife, and a child who is an atheist. Animistic religions are often woven into these more widely known practices.

Referees set down the guidelines before the wrestling matches gets underway.

23-year-old Nourdeem Mustafa al-Nour, in the white t-shirt, battles it out with an opponent from another tribe. An accomplished fighter, Nourdeem says that he does not want to be wrestling this time next year. His dream is to go to school to become a doctor.

Nourdeem Mustafa al-Nour, in the white t-shirt, narrowly escapes being pinned by his opponent.

In the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, wrestling has traditionally been practiced completely naked. Competitors were only covered in a white ash or cow butter. To the lament of some of the elders, times have changed and most young wrestlers now wear athletic shorts and t-shirts.The regime in Khartoum has banned wrestling and Yida provides a place where people are able to carry on their traditions in peace.

Crowd control is serious business at the wrestling matches. And fans who cross the line onto the pitch recieve a painful reminder to stay out of the way.

Wrestling is in Zeber Reka's blood. The traditions and techniques that have been passed down for generations find new life in the relative safety of Yida, South Sudan.

19-year-old Zeber Reka, right, squares off against his first opponent of the evening. Zeber made the dangerous journey from the Nuba Mountains after enduring the constant aerial bombing by the Sudanese Air Force. Zeber said that he has "seen people's legs cut off, their heads severed by exploding bombs."

Lauded as one of the best wrestlers in Yida, Zeber Reka, has taken the stage name of John Cena, the popluar American WWE wrestler.

Zeber Reka and Nourdeem Mustafa al-Nour fight in the final match of the day. It's close but Nourdeem finally sucumbs and buckles under the weight of Zeber's heaping muscles. The crowd of over 5,000 erupts in cheering.

Zeber Reka is widely thought of as the best wrestler in Yida, South Sudan. More than anything else he dreams of traveling to a country like the United States where he can learn proper wrestling techniques and compete on an official level.

Zeber Reka is widely thought of as the best wrestler in Yida, South Sudan. More than anything else he dreams of traveling to a country like the United States where he can learn proper wrestling techniques and compete on an official level.

UNMISS soldiers from MONGBATT (Mongolia Battalion) provide security for the Yida refugee settlement. Housed in the UNHCR compund, they regularly go out on patrols in the community and guard the airfield.

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