Friday 13 March 2020

A Week in Pictures, Middle East and Africa, March 13, 2020

I have a soft spot for donkeys (not sure why) and an even softer spot for quirky pictures, so Raneen Sawafta’s is an easy pick. At first glance you get as much information is as possible from this image. No matter how long you look, it's still a man is following a donkey down a stairwell. To find out why you need a caption, to find out even more you will need to read here.

A Palestinian worker uses a donkey to transport gravel as it walks down stairs of an under-construction building in Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, match 5, 2020.   REUTERS/Raneen Sawafta

Maggie Andersen’s picture can best be described as compositionally ‘very busy’. Your eye darts around, green shoes and shorts, yellow container, shoes and pillar, blue dress, white bag full of things, red fruit for sale in a doorway, people crowded in from the foreground to the very rear of the image and, of course, the white sink and container in the foreground. Even more interesting when you realise this is a picture to illustrate how Rwanda is trying to stop the spread of coronavirus. Read on here.

A man washes his hands at a public washing station before boarding a bus as a cautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus at Nyabugogo Bus Park in Kigali, Rwanda March 11, 2020.   REUTERS/Maggie Andersen 

Ammar Awad has given us a glimpse into the world of small boys experimenting with things grown up. The moment caught could be that first ghastly puff of a cigarette. Under the watchful gaze of a friend, you can’t let yourself down, no coughing, no saying how horrid it tastes, and the friend knows that he must do the same and not lose face either. A wonderful affectionate moment. 

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish children smoke as they are dressed up in costumes during celebrations marking the Jewish holiday of Purim in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighbourhood March 11, 2020.   REUTERS/Ammar Awad

It takes a little while to work out what is going on in Mohamed Abd El Ghany’s muddy grey/brown picture until the buildings in the centre foreground snap into focus. The dark band top right of the image then makes sense as a road and the sheer size of the urban growth, with thousands living so close to each other, is realised. No colour and no city ‘lungs’ of green space to ease your feeling of claustrophobia  

A view from an aircraft window shows buildings in an area of dense population in Cairo Egypt March 10, 2020.    REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Mohamed Torokman’s picture is almost 100% non-figurative, except for the hand and the gas canister. Both are relatively tiny in the frame, but the eye just zooms in. I love the open space that the canister is hurled into, the clean blue sky helping to give the image clarity and a strong right to left flow.

A Palestinian demonstrator hurls a tear gas canister back that was fired by Israeli forces during a protest against Israeli settlements, near the town of Beita in the Israeli-occupied west bank, March 11, 2020.   REUTERS/Mohamed Torokman

Tiksa Negeri’s picture is just so sad. A year after the tragic accident of flight ET302, a lone figure trying to get as close to the earth as they can beside the stark fence that is keeping them away from the crash site. The crash site is flat and barren land and I just can’t get the feeling from my head that the skies are completely empty and they should not be. Read on here.

A mourner sleeps next to the fence of the crash site during a memorial service for the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 Boeing 737 Max plane crash near Bishoftu, Ethiopia, march 8, 2020.   REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

It’s the uniform shape and colour that makes Alaa al-Marjani’s picture so appealing. This image was cropped from a wider picture. I like the context of the wider image but love the shapes of the tight crop. Which do you prefer?  

Shi’ite Muslim women wear protective face masks at Imam Ali Shrine, following an outbreak of coronavirus, in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq March 11, 2020.   REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani 

Shi’ite Muslim women wear protective face masks at Imam Ali Shrine, following an outbreak of coronavirus, in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq March 11, 2020.   REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani 

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