Friday 8 June 2018

A Week in Pictures Middle East & Africa, June 8, 2018

Being hit with a tear gas canister is terrifying but being hit with a tear gas canister that embeds itself in your face must be truly awful. Ibraheem’s Abu Mustafa’s picture of a man with tear gas still pouring from the canister in his face is quite disturbing but something I just can’t stop looking at as I have never seen the like before. Ibraheem followed up with him and you can see the story here 

A wounded Palestinian demonstrator is hit in the face with a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops during a protest marking al-Quds day (Jerusalem Day), at the Israeli-Gaza border in the southern Gaza strip June 8, 2018.   REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Next week the world’s attention will be on Russia and the World Cup. As a preview to the football tournament, Wider Image have pulled together a global project on unusual places the game is played. Contributions from Africa were very strong but in choosing one I have to settle on Siphiwe Sibeko’s offering as my favourite. The light is beautiful and I just love those yellow trousers in the low sun at full stretch and the red ball. See the set of pictures from around the world here

A combination picture shows boys playing soccer and details of a football, a pitch and shoes, at a makeshift pitch in Soweto, South Africa, May 14, 2018.   REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

I can’t help but smile when looking at Ammar Awad’s picture of a vendor grabbing a fish from the tank. Do you also think that the two fish slightly on the right are gasping, opened mouthed ‘phew lucky this time, not me!’ What I also love about this picture is the colour and tone. The warm orange/yellow colours of the arm in the water against the cool blue colours of the fish

A vendor holds a fish at a market in Amman, Jordan June 6, 2018.   REUTERS/Ammar Awad

There is no mistaking for even a second what the pull is for Mohamed Torokman’s picture: it’s the perfect shadow, the great lines in the picture and the shape of the man’s body climbing the rickety ladder. The shadow of the barbed wire snaking down from the top of the frame is an added bonus.

A Palestinian uses a ladder to climb over a section of the controversial Israeli barrier as he tries to make his way to attend Friday prayer of the Holy fasting month of Ramadan in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, near Ramallah in the occupied west bank June 8, 2018.  REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Wissam al-Okili’s picture is one that makes me want to scratch my head and wonder why the people in the picture are doing what they are doing. I just keep on looking and wondering, unable to pull myself away from this image. Eighteen people killed and over 90 injured in the blast and these young men are sitting on this half-buried car as if it’s garden furniture. Maybe it’s the contrast between the landscape of sheer devastation and the nonchalant relaxed manner of the men that gives this image its strength as you wonder ‘Wow! What happened here?’ If you want to know read on here

People gather at the site of an explosion in Baghdad’s Sadr City district, Iraq, June 7, 2018.    REUTERS/Wissam al-Okili

Jordan’s new Prime Minister Razzaz is being squeezed between the demands of the IMF trying to put the Jordan economy back on track with austerity measures and the demands of the people protesting on the streets because they can’t make ends meet. Muhammad Hamed’s picture seems to sum up all his problems in a single frame. 

Jordan’s designated new Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz speaks on the phone after leaving parliament building in Amman, Jordan June 7, 2018.  REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

 The newly repaired road cuts through the hills dotted with destroyed buildings from which a stream of vehicles seem to flow downhill. What catches my eye first in Omar Sanadiki’s picture is that it’s such a great shape. It also took me a while to realise what is a little strange: the traffic is moving in the same direction, towards the viewer on both sides of the road.  

Vehicles travel on the road between Homs and Hama after it was re-opened in Rastan, Syria June 6, 2018.   REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

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