Friday 19 January 2018

A Week in Pictures Middle East & Africa January 19, 2018

Love heart illustrations, hands and guns are always going to be an eye catcher. In a perfect world I would have liked Khaled Abdullah to have cropped out the highlight on the left but then we’d lose the centrally positioned reds of the hearts or change the shape of the picture to a square. But this is all compositional nit-picking about a strong picture that I like a lot.

Armed women attend a rally to show support for the Houthi movement in Sanaa, Yemen, January 13, 2018.   REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

I have selected one of many rooftop pictures shot by Corinna Kern in Tel Aviv as I feel it’s stuffed full to bursting with shape, light and things. The tower blocks in the background ‘lean’ into the picture from the top looking down, while the shadows of the foreground press up, squeezing us to the middle of the image. Once we finally settle on to the roof top we are rewarded with a host of Objets d’Art to keep us busy looking and looking some more. The full series can be seen here on the Wider Image. 

Ana Ashury, a mixed media artist, stores away her artwork on her rooftop in Ramat gan, a suburb of Tel Aviv, November 19, 2017. While she works as a video artist most of the time, Ana has recently started to use her rooftop space as a workshop for collage creation.   REUTERS/Corinna Kern

A delightful set of pictures first thing on a Monday morning from Mohammad Salem that all have a common compositional theme. You have to visually push through the image to reach the key focal point. All three pictures are worth this effort so I thought I’d share all of them with you.

Palestinian children play at their family’s house in Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, January 15, 2018.    REUTERS/Mohammed Salem 

Palestinian refugees wait to receive aid at a United Nations food distribution centre in Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, January 15, 2018.    REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Palestinian children outside their houses in Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, January 15, 2018.    REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Hani Amara’s picture, to me, is one of the desperate isolation that can only really be found on a dinghy crowded with refugees in the Mediterranean. We can just make out enough detail to see many are risking their lives to flee to Europe, but we are not given enough to count them, which adds to the sense that there are just too many of them. I fear for these people but am glad the sea is calm and the Libyan Coast Guard picked them up. 

Migrants are seen on a rubber dinghy as they are rescued by Libyan Coast Guard in the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya, January 15, 2018.   REUTERS/Hani Amara

This premature baby photographed by Khaled Abdullah in Sanaa seems so helpless that I am fearful that even the nurse’s touch may not save its young life. The white bandages holding the yellow-tipped tube seem enormous compared to the tiny, wrinkled features of the infant. The face already looks old enough to have lived a lifetime and seems close to death. I fear the struggle for life here may not end well.    

A nurse holds a premature baby in an incubator at the child care unit of a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen January 16, 2018.   REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

A bit of luck is always needed when you try to shoot news pictures with a slow shutter speed. Too much movement and you lose the image as it has no focal point, too little and the blur doesn’t work and the picture just looks soft. Amr Abdallah Dalsh had more luck than most. The only sharp part of his picture, the most important part, is the face of the man celebrating and clapping.

Egyptian Sufi Muslims practice ritualized Zikr (invocation) as they celebrate Moulid Al-Hussein, the birthday of Prophet Mohammad’s grandson Hussein, outside the Al-Hussein mosque in old Cairo, Egypt, January 16, 2018.   REUTERS/Amr  Abdullah Dalsh

Life imitating Art? Amir Cohen’s picture has captured a moment when a murmuration of migrating starlings seems to have taken on the shape of a bird in flight.  I should imagine photographing this phenomenon is like watching shapes develop in moving clouds, but 1,000 times faster. Adding this one to my bucket list.

A murmuration of migrating starlings is seen across the sky near the village of Beit Kama in southern Israel, January 16, 2018.  REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Abduljabber Zeyad’s picture inside a tent is quite deceptive. At first glance, the bright colours, the soft furnishings and the relaxed figures give an impression of a comfortable place to live. A look at the next image in the story reveals that home is a tent on a garbage dump in Hodeidah, in war-torn Yemen, where this family scratches a living from stuff that's dumped by other people. The pictures that set out the full story can be seen here

Mohammed Ruzaiq and his son Ayoub sit in their tent next to a garbage dump where they collect recyclables and food near the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen January 9, 2018. "All we want is for them to stop this war and this calamity and Gold Almighty will provide for us" Mohammed Ruzaiq said.   REUTERS/Abduljabber Zeyad 

Members of the Ruzaiq family sit for breakfast outside their tent next to a garbage dump where they collect recyclables and food near the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen January 9, 2018.   REUTERS/Abduljabber Zeyad  

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