National Geographic Abu Dhabi “Moments-2017: Celebrations”

The National Geographic Abu Dhabi photography competition’s 7th edition racked up more than 19,000 entries by aspiring photographers from countries across the Middle East and North Africa. NGAD named the winners of the “Moments-2017: Celebrations” competition, which broke all participation records since being set up seven years ago, in partnership with Almarai for the fourth year running and with Nikon as official photographic equipment partner. The general “Celebrations” in the Arab world theme launched photography lovers in the region on a search for the best emotional picture, creating a giant canvas of images of laughter, joy, family and cultural references.

Photo Documentary category winner: Palestinian Wedding Henna Night, by Fatima Shbair

The judges selected 20 year old Egyptian photography amateur Mohamed Mahdy as winner of the Adult Single Image category for his extremely emotional capture of the innocence of a young boy playing with a chick under the watchful eye of his family in the old Egyptian town of El Borg (cover image of this article), while 19 year old Fatima Shbair from Palestine won this year’s newly created Photo Documentary category for her depiction of the cultural traditions associated with a Palestinian bride’s preparations before her wedding day. The Youth category, a new category created for participants aged 17 and under, rewarded 17 year old Egyptian teenager Barakat Khaled who shot the picture of a group of children playing in the street and celebrating having scored.

Youth category winner: Celebrating Their Little One, by Barakat Khaled

UNESCO World Heritage Sites and grand mosques were brilliantly photographed by some entrants, while others zoomed in on colorful Ramadan celebrations, grand monuments, breathtaking scenery and buzzing festivals such as the annual Gnaoua World Music Festival in Morocco. The world of photography was explored from different angles, framing and picture compositions, from close-ups and wide angles to motion photography and high-speed photography.

People’s Choice Award winner: Life, by Mahmoud Abu Salama

The People’s Choice Award was also introduced, giving the public the opportunity to vote for their favorite image across all three categories. Mahmoud Abu Salama from Palestine was the big winner here for his picture of children from Jabaliya Refugee Camp in Gaza playing on ropes.