Breaking News

Gaza Photographer’s World Press Photo Win

Gaza Photographer's World Press Photo Win

Reuters photographer Mohammed Salem was awarded the prestigious 2024 World Press Photo of the Year on Thursday for his poignant depiction of a Palestinian woman cradling her five-year-old niece’s lifeless body in the Gaza Strip.

Captured on October 17, 2023, at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, the photograph portrays Inas Abu Maamar, 36, grieving as she holds Saly’s body, wrapped in a sheet, in the hospital morgue.

Rickey Rogers, Reuters Global Editor for Pictures and Video, announced Salem’s win with humility, expressing that while the photo isn’t cause for celebration, he appreciates its recognition and the opportunity to share it with a broader audience.

Also Read: Iran States No Evidence Yet of Israel’s Responsibility for Overnight Drone Attack

Standing in front of the photograph at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, Rogers conveyed Salem’s hope that the award would raise awareness of the human toll of war, particularly on children.

The World Press Photo Foundation, based in Amsterdam, emphasized the importance of acknowledging the risks journalists face in conflict zones, citing the high number of casualties among journalists covering the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Joumana El Zein Khoury, the organization’s executive director, underscored the need to recognize the trauma experienced by journalists and photographers to shed light on the humanitarian consequences of war.

Salem, a 39-year-old Palestinian, has been with Reuters since 2003 and previously won an award in the 2010 World Press Photo competition.

The jury praised Salem’s winning image for its careful composition and respectful portrayal, offering both a metaphorical and literal glimpse into profound loss.

Reflecting on the moment he captured the image, Salem described the chaos and anguish in Gaza as families searched for loved ones amid the conflict, with the woman holding onto the child’s body refusing to let go.

The photograph, taken shortly after Salem’s wife gave birth, resonated deeply with the jury and viewers alike for its emotional impact.

Lee-Ann Olwage of South Africa won the story of the year category with her documentation of dementia in Madagascar for GEO magazine. Alejandro Cegarra of Venezuela received the long-term projects category award for “The Two Walls,” published in The New York Times/Bloomberg. Ukrainian photographer Julia Kochetova won the open format award with “War is Personal,” a documentary-style portrayal of the war in her country combining pictures, poetry, audio, and music.