Diego Ibarra Sánchez

Photographer
   
Pehlwani : the ancients mud wrestler
Location: Beirut
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: Diego Ibarra Sánchez 1982, Spain www.diegoibarra.com Diego Ibarra Sánchez is a documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Lebanon. Diego assumes a very critical stance regarding the use of images in our own society, defining... read on
Public Story
Pehlwani : the ancients mud wrestler
Credits: diego ibarra
Updated: 04/24/20
Archived as:  ,
Pehlwani, an ancient style of wrestling, is struggling to survive in modern day Pakistan. Its roots may date to as far back as the 4th century B.C. Developed in the Mughal Empire by combining different fight disciplines, it has influences from Persians 

Bamma Pehlwan's akhara, the pit where pehlwans practice, is located behind the Lahore Fort and it is the largest wrestling pit in the city. Few years ago it was famous for having produced many Pakistanis and Asian champion. But this ancient way of life is fast heading towards extinction, as there are just few loyalists struggles to keep the sport alive:  it faces a lack of financial support from the Government. Despite declining popularity, the sport remains a way of life for some fighters.

Climbing; pushups; digging; training old techniques in the clay pit. Pehlwani is a balance of body and soul that requires dedication and commitment. Unfortunately, most of the fighters have to balance it with daily jobs. 

Time stops in an expanded sigh. Pehlwans (means warriors) devote their life towards this ancient way of life in a country that walks among shadows and hopes. Marked by a chronic corruption, the lack of energy, the ethic-religious violence and an unsalvageable social gap this ancient way of life drives us into a different approach to Pakistan
172

By Diego Ibarra Sánchez —

VISUAL STORY

Fear and Sport Imperil Lebanon

By Diego Ibarra — Poisoned, run over, and shot on sight, the country’s national animal finds itself threatened by frightened humans and dated myths. Fear and..
VISUAL STORY

Christians under siege: Pakistan

By Diego Ibarra — Photographed for DER SPIEGEL A ray of light bathes Ashiq Masih. He holds with his hands the portrait of his wife. She is currently at jail. On June..
VISUAL STORY

Dispatches from Mosul

By Diego Ibarra — Mohammed looks out of the dirty back window of the Civil Defense´s ambulance.  He holds firmly the gate waiting to get outside in order..
VISUAL STORY

Factory Aftermath

By Diego Ibarra — Fire ravaged a textile factory complex at Karachi’s Gulbai area killing almost 300 workers trapped behind locked doors on September 12, 2012...
VISUAL STORY

How ISIS changed Iraqi schools

By Diego Ibarra — Iraq’s education system has been devastated by ISIS, but there’s still hope of avoiding a ‘lost generation’ How ISIS changed..
VISUAL STORY

In Shift, Pakistanis Fleeing War Flow Into Beleaguered Afghanistan

By Diego Ibarra — Through three decades of war, waves of Afghans have fled their homes along the eastern border areas, many of them seeking shelter in the Pakistani..
VISUAL STORY

Libya on tears 2011

By Diego Ibarra — After spreading the Arab Spring around the Muslim countries, also known as the Jasmine Revolution, on February 17, citizens of Libya began to face a..
VISUAL STORY

Chronicles of the monsoon

By Diego Ibarra — For EL PAIS SEMANAL Pakistan has been facing natural disasters for two consecutive years. Still reeling from last year's epic floods, Pakistan..
VISUAL STORY

Tripoli, a tale of two cities

By Diego Ibarra — Over the past eight years, 200 people have been killed in clashes in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, according to the International Committee..
VISUAL STORY

A Superstar Televangelist in Pakistan

By Diego Ibarra — The audience erupted as Aamir Liaquat Hussain, Pakistan’s premier televangelist, darted around the television studio, firing off questions..
VISUAL STORY

The Afghan lovers

By Diego Ibarra — She is his Juliet and he is her Romeo, and her family has threatened to kill them both. Complicating matters, Mohammad Ali is a Hazara, who are..
VISUAL STORY

In Afghanistan, American Special Forces ´s Presence winds down

By Diego Ibarra — The US government has begun its gradual military drawdown in Afghanistan, bringing to an end combat operations there nearly 13 years after..
VISUAL STORY

Football without barriers in North Nigeria

By Diego Ibarra — Nigeria has recently reached the milestone of being polio-free for a year, however, the disease has left thousands of survivors handicapped...
Join us
for more access