Friday,22 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1379, (1 -7 February 2018)
Friday,22 February, 2019
Issue 1379, (1 -7 February 2018)

Ahram Weekly


Nesmahar Sayed saw Egypt from fantastic angles

Symmetry, Sharm El-Sheikh by Tarek Hussein

For the tenth year in a row the European Union Delegation to Egypt organised its annual Photography Competition for Amateur Photographers: “Favourite Destinations in Egypt”. According to delegation head Ivan Surkoš, 143 participants submitted over 400 photos from all over the country. It was in collaboration with the Townhouse Gallery that the project started ten years ago. “Today,” Surkoš says, “I am delighted to see the large number of photos submitted under this theme, and the artistic merit and quality of these pictures, which show the beauty and diversity of Egypt. These wonderful pictures surely encourage people to visit ‘the Mother of the World’ and enjoy its marvels.”

The first winner was Farid Abdine for his photo of a boy sailing a small boat towards a house surrounded by trees on a tiny island in Lake Burullus. Abdine says he set out from the village of Al-Shakhlouba in Kafr Al-Sheikh: “It was a trip with my friends to take photos of the fishermen and we went from the south shore of the lake to its north shore where we found this island.” A good photo, Abdine insisted, is no easy feat; the photographer must find new images, new angles. 

The Island, Borollos Lake by Farid Abdine

Jury member Ashraf Talaat, who has been a photographer for 36 years, working with National Geographic, agrees, describing the jury’s concern with the technical and compositional elements of each photo: “The dynamics in the photo which is the movement of its elements is a main thing the jury looks for, taking into consideration that the photo should be unique. Here the photographer is the first to judge his or her photo. Every photo should have the stamp of the photographer.” 

But as freelance photographer Shaimaa Alaa, another jury member, points out, the jury was also looking for “beautiful Egypt”: “The participants were able to provide a store of wonderful images of Egypt in almost all the cities. The photos represent different places in Egypt.”

Ashour Al-Nagui’s House, Dahab by Mohamed Kamal

The second prize went to Ahmed Badr for his photo from Luxor of a balloon with the desert and the road underneath. The third prize went to Mustafa Al-Shorbagi for his photo of two men from Aswan in a boat on the River Nile looking up. 

Adel Bayoumi, 58, is an accountant who has been photographing for 20 years. His contribution was among the 30 exhibited and printed in the catalogue. Bayoumi believes that travelling and photographing are closely related: “I search on the Internet for new places to go among groups and take photos.” Galal Al-Messiri’s photo “Unlimited Enjoyment” from Aswan – also exhibited – was also chosen for the calendar. Al-Messiri, a member of the General Secretariat for Arab Photographers, said that travelling around Egypt gives the photographer a variety of good and rare choices for unique and distinguished photos. 

Flower Alley by Abdel-Hamid Fawzi

For the youngest participant in the competition, Kholoud Abdel-Moneim, 18, from Alexandria, the competition was a place for her to show her photographic talent and skill. “I wanted to combine many aspects in one photo. I gathered the monuments, people and what they do and the colourful products they sell to add happiness and joy to the scene. So I took the side mirror off my car and put it in the middle of the alley leading to the Qaitbay Citadel.” 

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