Breaking Borders: Mother of All Conflicts Pictures

Go behind the scenes of "Mother of All Conflicts" as journalist Mariana van Zeller and chef Michael Voltaggio travel to Israel and Palestine to take a closer look at how conflict has shaped the region. 

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A Toast Along the Mexico/Arizona Border

A Toast Along the Mexico/Arizona Border

Mariana van Zeller and Michael Voltaggio share a toast with their dinner guests during the Mexico/Arizona border episode. 960 1280

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Interview with Mariana van Zeller

Interview with Mariana van Zeller

Mariana speaks with a local farmer and dinner guest in Arizona. 960 1280

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Along the Sarajevo City Line

Along the Sarajevo City Line

Local guide/fixer Sabina Niksic explains to Michael and Mariana the significance of the Sarajevo city line that separates the east from the west in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 960 1280

  

Sarajevo's Restaurant Kibe

Sarajevo's Restaurant Kibe

Michael and Mariana marvel at the dishes on the table at Restaurant Kibe in Sarajevo.  960 1280

  

Welcome to Havana, Cuba

Welcome to Havana, Cuba

The Breaking Borders film crew captures Mariana and Michael speaking with a local guide/fixer in the city center of Havana. Related: Why We Love the Cubans 960 1280

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Lunch is Served in Cuba's Countryside

Lunch is Served in Cuba's Countryside

Michael gets a closer look at the whole roasted pig that’s for lunch at an organic farm in Cuba’s countryside. 960 1280

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Cuban Cigars

Cuban Cigars

Mariana and Michael pose for a quick picture with a Cuban cigar on a tobacco farm. 960 1280

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Children of Syria

Children of Syria

Peace! Mariana and Michael pose with Syrian children at a refugee camp in Lebanon. 960 1280

  

In the Kitchen with Michael Voltaggio

In the Kitchen with Michael Voltaggio

Mariana assists Michael in the "kitchen" as he prepares lamb kebobs for part of the final dinner on a houseboat in Kashmir, his first wazwan meal. 960 1280

  

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

Mariana and Michael stand in front of the West Belfast Regiment sign in Northern Ireland. Related Episode: Bloody Saturday in Ireland 960 1280

  

Dissecting a 30-year-old War

Dissecting a 30-year-old War

Michael and Mariana speak with Plum Smith, a Protestant, about the history behind the 30-year-old war in Northern Ireland between Catholic Republicans and Protestant Loyalists which is known as "The Troubles." 960 1280

  

Israel and Palestine

Israel and Palestine

Sameer, a Palestinian guide/fixer, explains to Michael and Mariana the conflict between Israel and Palestine as they stand outside the wall separating Israel from Palestinian territory. Related Episode: Mother of All Conflicts 960 1280

  

Grocery Shopping in Jerusalem

Grocery Shopping in Jerusalem

Mariana and Michael visit the open-air market in Jerusalem to find fresh ingredients for the dinner that Michael will prepare. It will bring together Israeli settlers and Palestinians to discuss their historic controversy. 960 1280

  

Stilt Fishing in Sri Lanka

Stilt Fishing in Sri Lanka

Do as the Romans do — but in this case, it's the Sri Lankans. Michael and Mariana go stilt fishing with a fisherman on Thalpe Beach. 960 1280

  

Yatagala Temple in Sri Lanka

Yatagala Temple in Sri Lanka

Mariana and Michael, dressed in white saris and sarongs, visit the Yatagala temple in Unawatuna, Sri Lanka. 960 1280

  

Rwanda, Africa

Rwanda, Africa

Michael and Mariana trek into the Rwandan jungle for an experience of a lifetime: visiting with the wild gorillas. 960 1280

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Rwandan Market

Rwandan Market

Michael visits a Rwandan market to learn about the local cuisine. 960 1280

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The Great Pyramid of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza

While in Egypt, Michael and Mariana visit Giza to see the ancient pyramids and the Great Sphinx, arriving in style. Related Episode: Detained in Egypt 960 1280

  

Old Cairo

Old Cairo

Mariana, Michael and local guide/fixer Ahmed Seddik walk to a café in the Old Cairo market. 960 1280

  

Photos

Chevy 1955 Bel Air and Sonoran Hot Dogs

Chevy 1955 Bel Air and Sonoran Hot Dogs

Michael (Voltaggio) is obsessed with classic American cars. In fact, he owns this exact same model — a Chevy 1955 Bel Air. He wanted to drive it down to Arizona, but since we had to make sure he actually arrived in time for the shoot, we decided to rent one instead. Our first stop was a truck that sells the famous Sonoran hot dogs, which Michael insisted we eat several feet away from the car so as not to get it dirty.  That whole morning, I felt like we'd been transported 60 years back in time! 960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

US-Mexico $2 Billion Border Fence

US-Mexico $2 Billion Border Fence

I've been reporting on border and immigration issues for years, but this was the first time I got to see the $2 billion border fence from above. Border Patrol says it's been effective in preventing the movement of illegal goods and people from Mexico into the US, but opponents call it a boondoggle. They say that all it does is drive immigrants to more dangerous (fenceless) terrain, which means more deaths along the border for those pursuing a better life for themselves and their families. 960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

649-Mile Fence

649-Mile Fence

The brown line you see is part of the 649-mile fence. Since it's not a continuous fence, it covers less than a third of the 1,954-mile US-Mexican border.   960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

The Border From Above

The Border From Above

Flying over the US-Mexican border on a 4-seat Cessna. I look calm and collected, but this is where I learned that having a chef as the co-pilot is never a good idea. You can't be good at everything, Voltaggio! 960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

View From the Other Side

View From the Other Side

This photo was taken in Nogales, AZ. On the other side of the 18-foot fence is Nogales, Sonora, in Mexico. I've been here on reporting trips before, but the sheer size of the fence never ceases to surprise me.     960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

'Breaking Bad'?

'Breaking Bad'?

It ain't Breaking Bad; it's Breaking Borders. Oh, and it airs every Sunday at 9|8c on Travel Channel. 960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

Michael Voltaggio, Excited for Cuisine & Compliments

Michael Voltaggio, Excited for Cuisine & Compliments

Michael is excited to try authentic Mexican food in Nogales, Sonora. Or perhaps it's because a 70-year-old Mexican lady just said, "Qué gringo más guapo!" (“What a handsome gringo!”)   960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

Bottoms Up!

Bottoms Up!

Yes, they were all for me — 10 shots of pure gold. What happens in the field stays in the field. 960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

Mountain Minutemen

Mountain Minutemen

In Arizona, we spent a few hours one night with members of the Mountain Minutemen, a group of armed men and women who camp out in the desert, hunting for illegal border crossers. This man asked us not to show his face or reveal his identity, but the leader of the group, Robert Crooks, was one of our dinner guests on the episode. 960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

"Big Bill" Campbell Memorial

"Big Bill" Campbell Memorial

Mariana van Zeller and Michael Voltaggio stand in front of a memorial for “Big Bill” Campbell, a commander in the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), whose goal was to combat the Irish Republican Army. 960 1280

  

Shankill Road

Shankill Road

Loyalist Plum Smith sits in front of old photos on a wall on Shankill Road, a popular target of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that has been bombed 3 times, the most recent and deadliest of which occurred in 1993. 960 1280

  

"Dark Hedges" of Northern Ireland

"Dark Hedges" of Northern Ireland

The gorgeous and famous "Dark Hedges" — beech trees that lead up to the Gracehill House — have been featured on Game of Thrones. Related: All Men Must Travel: Game of Thrones Destinations 960 1280

  

Hudson Bar

Hudson Bar

Michael and Mariana sample high-end whiskey at the Hudson Bar in Belfast. 960 1280

  

Top-Shelf Whiskey

Top-Shelf Whiskey

Michael Stewart, owner of the Hudson Bar, right, talks to Michael Voltaggio about the top-shelf whiskey. 960 1280

  

Milltown Cemetery

Milltown Cemetery

The resting place for IRA hunger strikers and generations of Republicans who were buried after "the Troubles," a period of extreme conflict in Northern Ireland that started in the 1960s and reached as far as mainland Europe.


960 1280

  

In Memoriam of Bobby Sands

In Memoriam of Bobby Sands

Michael Voltaggio stands in front of a mural that remembers Bobby Sands, an Irish nationalist who led a hunger strike in prison, where he died. 960 1280

  

Duke of York

Duke of York

Mariana and Michael visit the Duke of York pub in Belfast to get some Guinness. 960 1280

  

"In Your Face"

"In Your Face"

During the Troubles, Belfast native Frankie Quinn took a series of photos that showed Northern Ireland in the 1980s, including this one, titled In Your Face. 960 1280

  

Crumlin Road Jail

Crumlin Road Jail

The Crumlin Road Jail (or gaol) formerly housed several members of the UVF. A section of the interior was damaged in 1991 by a bomb set off by the IRA. Closed down in 1996, Crumlin Road Jail is now one of the most popular sights on Northern Ireland’s "terror tour." It's open for daily public tours and evening paranormal tours. 960 1280

  

Dinner Prep

Dinner Prep

Chef Michael Voltaggio prepares an Irish meal that his grandmother would be proud of for the dinner guests at Crumlin Road Jail. 960 1280

  

Dinner at Crumlin Road Jail

Dinner at Crumlin Road Jail

Guests from opposing sides of the Troubles join Mariana and Michael for a discussion and dinner at the Crumlin Road Jail. 960 1280

  

A Mediterranean Fish Fry

A Mediterranean Fish Fry

After a day spent in the charming Mediterranean city of Byblos, Lebanon, I had no other fish to fry. I ate all of them. 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

Lebanese Cuisine

Lebanese Cuisine

An extreme close-up of a Lebanese meze. Unfortunately, my photo skills don't do it justice. Lebanese food is famous all over the world, and rightfully so. It's definitely on my top 5 list of best places to eat. 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

Old Jerusalem

Old Jerusalem

Pickle seller in Old Jerusalem. Michael Voltaggio and I spent our first and last day in Jerusalem roaming around Souk Khan El-Zeit. We both love to eat and shop, and this open-air market in the Old City was the perfect place for both. Related: Mother of All Conflicts 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler

The Mount Zion Catholic Cemetery, where Oskar Schindler is buried. Schindler was a member of the Nazi Party responsible for saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. His story was portrayed in Steven Spielberg's 1993 movie Schindler's List. 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

West Bank City of Hebron

West Bank City of Hebron

Palestinian men in the West Bank city of Hebron. More than any other place on our trip, this is where we really felt the anger and resentment on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It's another city divided, with around 80% controlled by the Palestinian Authority and the other 20% administered by Israel. 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

Great Pyramids of Giza

Great Pyramids of Giza

The mandatory "look at me at the pyramids" photo. At least one of us is looking in the right direction. Related: Detained in Egypt 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

Cairo

Cairo

The view from my hotel bedroom in Cairo. The Nile is indeed a river in Egypt, and the longest in the world. 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

Traveling in Style

Traveling in Style

I travel a lot, usually to places no one wants to go. But then sometimes, I get lucky. In this case, WE (the chef and I) got lucky. I could do away with the camel riding, but no one's taking the Pyramids of Giza from us. Over 4,500 years of pure wonder that will stay with us forever. 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

Egypt's Spice Rack

Egypt's Spice Rack

A spice shop in the Khan el-Khalili Souk in Cairo. 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

Cooking in Extreme Conditions

Cooking in Extreme Conditions

Michael Voltaggio has cooked in some pretty cool places for this show, but I think he'll agree with me that this one hit the high note. He had just a few hours to cook large amounts of incredibly awesome food, while I tried to make myself useful, but every few minutes, we'd both look up and gasp. 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland

The "Peace Wall" in Belfast still separates Northern Ireland's Catholic and Protestant communities. It was built following the start of the conflict known as "The Troubles" and has stood for 45 years, longer than the Berlin Wall. Tourists from all over the world write messages on it, as did Michael and I. Can you guess what we wrote? Hint: best show on TV. Also, "peace" in my mother tongue. Related: A History Tour of Ireland 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

Shankill Road, Belfast

Shankill Road, Belfast

Michael in front of a loyalist memorial on Shankill Road in Belfast. Shankill (which means "the old church") was a center for Protestant paramilitarism during the Troubles and was the target of several bomb and gun attacks by the Irish Republican Army, or IRA. 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

Picturesque Sarajevo

Picturesque Sarajevo

The beautiful location of our "big meal" — the Hedona Wine Club in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

Mostar, Bosnia

Mostar, Bosnia

The stunning Stari Most (which means "old bridge") in Mostar was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century. It was completely destroyed during the Bosnian War but was rebuilt in 2004, and it now stands as a symbol of reconciliation and peace. 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

Roadside Roasted Lamb

Roadside Roasted Lamb

Our amazing guide Sabina told us that we had to stop at this roadside restaurant on the way back from Mostar to try the famous Bosnian roasted lamb on a spit. Apparently, these restaurants have become so popular here that they now call this region "the Silence of the Lambs." 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

Chef Michael Voltaggio

Chef Michael Voltaggio

Michael will kill me for telling you this, but he's super afraid of heights. However, he came with me all the way up to the top of a minaret in Mostar. So proud of you, Chef! 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

A Chef's Mind

A Chef's Mind

Michael usually starts jotting down some ideas for the big meal the day before. In Bosnia, I got lucky and got to see his brilliant mind at work. He did all this during our last shoot of the day, at an old bar in Sarajevo. It's a possible list of dishes, ingredients and some food presentation ideas. Wish I'd stolen the original copy. It might well be worth millions one day! :-) 960 1280

Mariana Van Zeller  

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