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Friday, 31 July 2020

A Week in Pictures, Middle East and Africa, July 31, 2020

If someone has 160 suits, 200 pairs of shoes and 300 hats more is more. Thomas Mukoya asked his subject to dress up in different suits and photographed him with the same backdrop, these then presented as a combination picture. The more we can see the better – enjoy the story here.

A combination picture shows Kenyan fashionista James Maina Mwangi posing as he displays his attire comprising at least 160 suits with matching accessories including a mask to prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection at his residence in Nairobi, Kenya July 30, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

What you mainly get a sense from in Mohamed al-Sayaghi’s picture is the weight of the sheep being carried away. It’s probably wriggling about quite a bit, making it even harder to carry. The image has been shot quite wide so you get a real feeling of the bustle of the ancient business of goat-selling, with straw, and mud all mingled in with the modern trappings of cars, a modern building with reflective glass and advertising hoardings as people prepare for the festival. 

A man carries a sheep at a livestock market ahead of the Eid al-Adha festival amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Sanaa, Yemen July 28, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

In Ronen Zvulun’s picture your attention is immediately grabbed by the graphic shape of the hand contrasting with the the red and the Israeli flag. It takes more than a little while before you can visually get around this bold and loud shape to see the water cannon spray thundering into the crouching protesters, who protect themselves with small shields. Read on here.


Police use water cannon during a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's alleged corruption and his government's handling of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, near his residence in Jerusalem July 26, 2020. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Makeshift roofing, rubbish in the street and drying clothing hanging over rough brick walls crisscross through Khaled Abdullah’s picture and dwarf the two figures. This feeling of enormity echoes the seemingly insurmountable problem of poverty and poor housing. Everything crushes down heavily in the heat and squalor: the old tyres, the large bricks, the makeshift weights to keep the flimsy roofs from blowing away.

Boys play at a slum area for the Muhamasheen (marginalized) community in Sanaa, Yemen July 26, 2020. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Although this is a straightforward before and after image using Ahmed Jadallah’s file picture dated 2016,  the power of comparison to demonstrate the impact of  COVID-19 and social distancing is striking. Read on here.

A combination picture shows Muslim pilgrims circling the Kaaba at the Grand mosque during the annual Haj pilgrimage September 8, 2016, and after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak July 29, 2020, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Pictures taken September 8, 2016 and July 29, 2020. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah (top)/ Saudi Ministry of Media/Handout via REUTERS

What a wonderful feature picture by Zohra Bensemra who teases us with “photography pure” elements of the moment caught, tones, shape and colour. Take the time to get past the almost abstract shapes and tones of solid blacks that fill the foreground. We are given just enough highlight detail of the boy’s face in the centre, but nothing is given away in the figure on the left or the dark space on the ground, we just have to figure it out ourselves. To counter these shadows we are treated to the full orange colour in bright sunlight of the boy playing, legs at full stride, head held high, a moment caught. I even like the roof of the building that just kisses the edge of the frame against the blue sky.  

Children are seen at the fishermen port ahead of the Muslim festival of sacrifice Eid al-Adha, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Dakar, Senegal July 30,2020. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

The dawn light bursts over a herd of goats being sold off for slaughter in Thomas Mukoya’s picture. The image is well composed so the animals’ bodies fan out from the centre highlight of the sun, like rays of warmth reaching out to the chill in the foreground. Dotted amongst them are herders and customers alike drawing us deeper into the picture as the goods are inspected and haggled over.    

Muslim faithful buy goats at a livestock market during celebrations marking the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nairobi, Kenya July 31, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

I can’t hide my pleasure over a great detail picture that focuses on a small element of a scene that tells a bigger story, and this enjoyment is doubled when it’s an element from a hard to illustrate economic story. Afolabi Sotunde has captured a money dealer flicking through naira notes that are as tired and worn as the trader’s fingers. The story is that the economy is struggling as businesses struggle to find U.S. dollars to buy the materials they need to continue trading. The oil price, Nigeria’s main export to secure dollars, is depressed by the impact of COVID-19.  Read on here.

A man carries Nigerian naira banknotes at a livestock market in Abuja, Nigeria July 29, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde










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