Friday 23 October 2020

A Week in Pictures, Middle East and Africa, October 23, 2020

During the daylight hours before darkness in which protesters were gunned down in the streets Temilade Adelaja was out photographing the demonstrations. Her picture conveys a sense of nervousness, that static you feel in the ions of the atmosphere before violence breaks out. Everyone is looking in different ways as if they are watching for something, holding hands in solidarity, giving one another strength. Read on here for this fast-developing story.  

Demonstrators hold hands as they gather near the Lagos State House, despite a round-the-clock curfew imposed by the authorities on the Nigerian state of Lagos in response to protests against alleged police brutality, Nigeria October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja

Ramzi Boudina has captured a wonderful moment of happiness and joy. Belly laughs all around for these women as they rock back and forth. Your eye is led through the image from the centrally placed woman with her arms up, through the rows of beautifully dressed spectators to the drums in the rear then back down to the bottom right corner. From here the woman’s eyeline takes us back up again into the crowd, like a Mexican wave. Read on here.

Women spectators cheer during a match in an annual local soccer tournament played by an all women teams, at the village of Sahel, in the mostly Berber Kabylie region in the mountains east of Algiers, Algeria October 16, 2020. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina 

With what looks like something right out of a Wim Wenders playbook, Siphiwe Sibeko manages to create a powerful picture to illustrate a story that has not yet beguand that is taking place in a landscape full of emptiness. Photographing something that is not yet happening is not easy. Taking advantage of the clear skies and open horizon, Siphiwe waited for the police to walk onto the ‘stage’ he has created by getting low on the ground. 

Police officers stand guard as they set up a roadblock at the entrance of the small town of Senekal, ahead of Friday's appearance of two suspects for the murder of farm manager Brendin Horner, in Senekal, in the Free State province, South Africa, October 15, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

There is a starkness about Ammar Awad’s picture that, to me, is quite chilling although I am not quite sure why. Maybe it’s the coldness of the whites and blues of the full PPE, set against the reds of the ambulance door? Maybe it’s the empty space on the left? Or maybe the tiny glimpse of the bandaged foot on the stretcher?    

Medical staff move a patient from an ambulance at a hospital entrance, as Israel began easing the second nationwide coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown, in Jerusalem October 18, 2020. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Time to relax and Amr Abdallah Dalsh provides us with the perfect setting. The ripples in the water lead up from the cool blues of the water to the mountain ridges and then up to the warmth of the evening skies. Drift away, relax and sleep, like the figure in water.   

An Egyptian man swims in a lake in front of Taghaghien Island Resort in Egypt's Western Desert, during the activation of domestic tourism after the government cancelled the celebration of the Siyaha peace festival, or the 'Peace festival', amid concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Siwa Oasis, west of the Egyptian capital, Egypt October 16, 2020. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh 

Mixed messages in terms of social distancing in Mohamed Abd El Ghany’s picture of the start of school. As far as the eye can see boys are wearing masks and most are covering noses and mouths. It’s worth taking the time to look for uncovered faces andrewarding as they are, it’s the close proximity that may be worrying in a time of COVID-19  

Students wearing protective masks attend the first day at Al Sadeeya school, following months of closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Cairo, Egypt October 17, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

A clever tilt in the crop by the editor gives Khaled Abdullah’s picture a strong diagonal design that drags us from one side of the image to the other and back again. The men praying act as a counter to the right to left movement of the men walking and waving. I love the subtle little ‘bracket’ of the raised arm on the extreme left of the picture that curves us back into the image. 

Freed Houthi prisoners pray as they arrive after their release in a prisoner swap, in Sanaa airport, Yemen October 15, 2020. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah 

It’s the locked-on eye contact in Baz Ratner’s picture that captures me. She is being brave but is a little scared that the COVID-19 test will be painful, her head is gently but firmly held by the gloved and masked health worker. I really like the contrast of the textures of the smooth and brilliant white PPE against the rough brickwork behind her. Read on here.

A health worker collects a swab sample from a young girl during free mass testing for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya, October 17, 2020. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

As an addition a few extra pictures from last week that I didn’t want to miss out  

A demonstrator in underwear carries a hairdryer and a megaphone during a protest over alleged police brutality, in Lagos, Nigeria October 14, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja

Photographer Mohammed Asad documents a Palestinian spear-fisherman who holds a fish while diving underwater in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip, October 8, 2020. Picture taken October 8, 2020. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

An employee works at the main control room of Saline Water Conversion Corporation's Ras al-Khair Power and Desalination Plant in Ras al-Khair, Saudi Arabia, October 8, 2020. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed 

A schoolgirl stands next to the Kenya-Uganda railway line during the partial reopening of schools, after the government scrapped plans to cancel the academic year due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya October 12, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Rickshaw taxis drive past the Salaam Somali Bank in Wadajir district of Mogadishu, Somalia October 14, 2020. REUTES/Feisal Omar

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