National Geographic Abu Dhabi today announced the winners of its celebrated “Moments” photography competition, a regional competition set up by the factual entertainment channel in 2010 to support photography enthusiasts in the Middle East and North Africa.
Aspiring photographers from Palestine and Egypt have been named winners of this year’s competition, which received more than 19,000 entries across three key categories.
From dramatic portraits of a Palestinian bride before her wedding day to special moments showing children playing in the street, this year’s winners were praised by the judges for the originality and photographic quality of their images as well as their creative interpretation of this year’s competition theme, Celebration in the Arab World.
The award for the Adult Single Image Category went to Mohamed Mahdy, a 20-year-old photography lover from Egypt, for his image of a young boy playing with his chick under the watchful eye of his brother in the old Egyptian town of El Borg.
In the hotly contested Photo Documentary Category, 19-year-old Fatima Shbair from Palestine scooped the award for her series of images depicting the cultural traditions of a bride before her wedding day. The pictures show joy and celebration as well as highlight the heritage and meaning of Palestinian weddings.
The winner of the newly added Youth Category is Barakat Khaled, aged 17 from Egypt, whose image of children playing impressed this year’s judges. The new category, which was open for participants aged 17 and under, welcomed a range of artistic and beautifully captured images, from horsemanship in the Maghreb to cultural ceremonies and celebrations.
Building on the success of last year’s event, the 7th edition of the eminent competition, which is supported by Almarai, the GCC’s leading dairy brand, was significantly expanded compared to 2016 to include new awards categories such as the Photo Documentary Category and the Youth Category. This year’s competition, which is also supported by Nikon, the official “Moments” camera sponsor, also saw the introduction of the People’s Choice Award, which gives the public the opportunity to vote for their favourite image across all three categories, with the winner being announced at the Moments Awards Ceremony in Dubai in September.
This year’s entries captured what celebration means in the Arab world through the lens of photography lovers in the region, with submissions ranging from images of laughter, joy and family to cultural references such as national dance, national dress and national traditions. UNESCO World Heritage Sites and grand mosques were brilliantly photographed by some entrants, while others zoomed in on colourful Ramadan celebrations, grand monuments, breathtaking scenery and buzzing festivals such as the Gnaoua World Music Festival, a music festival held annually in Morocco. Participants explored different angles, framing and picture compositions, from close-ups and wide angles to motion photography and high-speed photography.
This year’s judging panel included Rena Effendi, a renowned National Geographic photographer, Hussam Abdulqader, Head of Corporate Communications and Public Relations at Almarai, and Chitra Shergill, a professional photographer who also runs the Nikon School of Photography in Jebel Ali.
The winners of this year’s Single Image Category and Photo Documentary Category will each receive an 11-day all-expense-paid National Geographic photography Expedition Trip to Cuba; a $7,500 photography hamper courtesy of Nikon, a long-standing photography partner of the channel; and complimentary travel to the Moments Awards Ceremony in Dubai in September. The winner of the Youth Category will receive a certificate and a $2,000 photography hamper, also courtesy of Nikon, while the winner of the People’s Choice Award will be awarded a National Geographic Goodie Bag worth $500.
For more information, please visit http://www.natgeo-moments.com/