Demobilization in the DRC: Girls braid hair between classes at Education and Training of the Victims of Nyiragongo (ETN), a nonprofit supported by Ben Affleck's charity, Eastern Congo Initiative. Photo by Monique Jaques.

What Journalists Carry on the Front Lines: Monique Jaques, Middle East

Middle East Travel
by Cengiz Yar Jr. Jan 22, 2015

Monique Jaques is a photojournalist based in Istanbul, Turkey. She has spent the past four years focused on documenting issues in the Middle East as well as Afghanistan and India. This year she was nominated for the Prix Bayeux-Calvados ‘Young Reporter’ award and she was listed on the 30 Under 30 Female Photographers’ from Photoboite. Her project ‘Growing Up on The Gaza Strip’, first published in the New York Times. She was also shortlisted for the 2013 Photocrati Grant. In 2012, she was selected as one of the recipients of the PROOF Award for the Emerging Photojournalist for her work in post-war Libya and featured in the Bursa Photography Festival. She was also featured in the Ian Parry Scholarship show in 2009 and received an Honorable Mention for the 2008 New York Photo Awards. Her work has been published by The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, The Economist, GEO, The Guardian, and CNN, among others.

Follow Monique on Instagram or Twitter and see more of her work on her site.

Monique Jaques is a 2014 International Women’s Media Foundation reporting fellow in the Democratic Republic of Congo and this is the bag she used for the fellowship.

Gear bag


1. Nikon D800
2. Nikon 28mm
3. Nikon 50mm
4. Nikon 28-70mm
5. Two Newswear bags
6. Nikon 70-300mm. To capture surprise safaris and occasional animals in the distance.
7. Nikon SB 600. For lighting environmental portraits.
8. Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket for SC and CF cards.
9. Sony Lav Mic kit
10. Justin portable USB charger. Total lifesaver for iphones. Charges four times before it needs to be charged.
11. Sony IC Recorder for interviews an other nat sound needs.
12. Sennheiser MKE 400 Shotgun Microphone
13. NorthFace Surge Backpack. I’ve never found a photo backpack that fits well ergonomically so I started using a women’s fit North Face with padding I took out from a (14) Lowepro Passport Sling bag. It’s so much better and the pockets are incredible.
15. Leather belt for pouches

Hotel things


16. Hanging flashlight. Helpful for the consistant blackouts that happen in Congo.
17. Incense, the cure for smelly hotel rooms.
18. Money belt, old school but always works. Really helpful for cash based economies like DRC.
19. Aeropress coffee machine. After carrying around my own french press, and finding glass covering my suitcase, more often than not, I found this hard plastic travel press. The filters (20) make it a compact and easy to clean travel device for the coffee nut.
21. Purel. Along with electricity, running water can sometimes be scarce and keeping bacteria free is critical when working.
22. Headlamp
23. Earplugs for the light sleeper (me)
24. Electrical and Gaffe tape.
25. Wetwipes, usually stolen from Turkish Airlines. Congolese mud seems to find its way everywhere.
26. Toilet paper, you can never count on it being there.
27. Sunflower seeds, granola bars and other snacks that can last in your bag and you can eat on the road.
28. Eyepatch
29. Tea, Coffee, Oral Rehydration Salts. All necessary for a happy healthy journalist.
30. Starbucks Via, for when there’s no time for the Aeropress.
31. Instant soup. Gross but handy when everywhere is closed.
32. iHome speakers. Plug into any iphone, ipod or music device. Also can be used in rental cars and on boat rides. Charge from USB lasts forever.


33. ThinkTank cable storage bag
34. Nikon battery Charger
35. USB car charger, for that constantly dying iPhone
36. Earphones
37. Sunglasses
38. Doorstop. Easy way to keep intruders out of shady hotel rooms
39. Magical power strip. Takes every type of plug. Life saver.
40. Lowepro Passport bag. Great to travel with as it folds up and makes you blend in a bit.
41. Moleskine notebook
42. Like 5 iPhone cables. I’m terrified of losing them.
43. Sandisk USB 3.0 card reader. 3x faster than the other kind.
44. AC power converter. Changes long car rides into editing time by allowing you to run any plug in device off the AC car charge. Great for laptops.
45. iPad. Purely for entertainment.

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