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Reuters’ Mohammed Salem wins 2024 World Press Photo of the Year award for image of mourning Palestinian girl


Palestinian girl Inas Abu Maamar, 36, embraces the physique of her 5-year-old niece Saly, who was killed in an Israeli strike, at Nasser hospital in Khan Younis within the southern Gaza Strip, October 17, 2023. Reuters photographer Mohammad Salem was in Khan Younis on Oct. 17 on the Nasser Hospital morgue, the place residents have been going to seek for lacking family members. He noticed Inas squatting on the bottom within the morgue, sobbing and tightly embracing Saly’s physique. “I lost my conscience when I saw the girl, I took her in my arms,” Inas mentioned. “The doctor asked me to let go… but I told them to leave her with me.” Mohammed Salem received the 2024 World Press Photo of the Year award for this picture.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Reuters photographer Mohammed Salem received the distinguished 2024 World Press Photo of the Year award on April 18 for his picture of a Palestinian girl cradling the physique of her five-year-old niece within the Gaza Strip.

The image was taken on Oct. 17, 2023, at Nasser hospital in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, the place households have been trying to find family members killed throughout Israeli bombing of the Palestinian enclave.

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Mr. Salem’s successful picture portrays Inas Abu Maamar, 36, sobbing whereas holding Saly’s sheet-clad physique within the hospital morgue.

“Mohammed received the news of his WPP award with humility, saying that this is not a photo to celebrate but that he appreciates its recognition and the opportunity to publish it to a wider audience,” Reuters‘ Global Editor for Pictures and Video, Rickey Rogers, mentioned at a ceremony in Amsterdam.

“He hopes with this award that the world will become even more conscious of the human impact of war, especially on children,” Rogers mentioned, standing in entrance of the photograph on the Nieuwe Kerk within the Dutch capital.

Announcing its annual awards, the Amsterdam-based World Press Photo Foundation mentioned it was vital to recognise the risks going through journalists protecting conflicts.

It mentioned 99 journalists and media staff had been killed protecting the struggle between Israel and Hamas for the reason that Palestinian militant group attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7 and Israel responded by launching a army offensive in Gaza.

“The work of press and documentary photographers around the world is often done at high risk,” mentioned Joumana El Zein Khoury, the organisation’s government director.

“This past year, the death toll in Gaza pushed the number of journalists killed to a near-record high. It is important to recognise the trauma they have experienced to show the world the humanitarian impact of the war.”

Mr. Salem, a Palestinian aged 39, has labored for Reuters since 2003. He additionally received an award within the 2010 World Press Photo competitors.

The jury mentioned Salem’s 2024 successful picture was “composed with care and respect, offering at once a metaphorical and literal glimpse into unimaginable loss.”

“I felt the picture sums up the broader sense of what was happening in the Gaza Strip,” Mr. Salem mentioned when the picture was first printed in November.

“People were confused, running from one place to another, anxious to know the fate of their loved ones, and this woman caught my eye as she was holding the body of the little girl and refused to let go.”


Salem’s spouse had given start to their little one days earlier than he took the shot.

The {photograph} is “profoundly affecting,” mentioned jury member Fiona Shields, head of pictures at Guardian News & Media.

The jury chosen the successful photographs from 61,062 entries by 3,851 photographers from 130 nations.

GEO photographer Lee-Ann Olwage of South Africa received the story of the 12 months class with pictures documenting dementia in Madagascar.

The long-term tasks class was received by Alejandro Cegarra of Venezuela for the collection “The Two Walls” for The New York Times/Bloomberg.

Ukrainian photographer Julia Kochetova received the open format award with “War is Personal”, which documented the struggle in her nation by weaving collectively footage, poetry, audio and music in documentary fashion.

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