Monday, January 2, 2017

Shawkan Photo awards 2016 : Egypt's best photos of the year

Shawkan awards For the second year in a row, a group of prominent of Egyptian photographers held the annual competition to name and choose Egypt's best photos in 2016.

The competition which was named after detained Photographer Mahmoud Abu Zeid aka Shawkan was launched in 2015 is back with more photos and a new category to celebrate photography in Egypt.

For those who do not know Mahmoud Abu Zeid aka Shawkan is a freelance journalist who has been detained since the dispersal of Rabaa sit-in in August 2013.
Despite a massive a local and international campaign calling for his release, Shawkan is still detained pending trial.

This competition was launched first in 2015 to honor photojournalism in Egypt as well to remind the people of that young man who is currently behind bars for doing his job.

The judges of this year's Shawkan Photo awards are :
  1. Hossam Diab: The former head of photography section in Al-Masry Al-Youm and former head of photographers section in the journalists syndicate.
  2. Thomas Hartwell: An AP Cairo office photo editor and veteran photographer based in Cairo. He is also the head of Contemporary Image Collective "CIC"
  3. Mosa'ab El-Shamy: A photographer in AP Cairo office.
  4. Roger Anis: A photographer in Al-Shorouk News' Photography section.
  5. Ahmed Hayman: A freelance photographer who used to work in Al-Masry Al-Youm Daily.
  6. Randa Shaath: A freelance veteran photographer and former head of photography in Al-Shorouk Daily.
The Shawkan award 2016 panel of judges "Shawkan awards" 
Now here are the top five news photos of 2016 arranged descendingly.

5- The hug in court by Ibrahim Ezzat Hendy

The Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson and his wife
MB Spox Ahmed Arif hugs his wife in court
"Ibrahim Ezzat Hendy" 
The moment the Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Ahmed Aref hugged his wife in court during his trial in 2016. That moment was captured by Ibrahim Ezzat Hendy , a talented Photojournalist from Al-Shorouk Newspaper's photojournalism section.

4- Anti-sexual harassment policewoman by Ali Fahim

Egyptian Policewoman
Anti-Sexual harassment policewoman "Ali Fahim" 
Taken in Downtown Cairo during some feast, a photo featuring a policewoman from the Anti-sexual harassment force. That force is made of women.
The photo was taken by Aly Fahim.

3- The military training students by Ehab Behairy

Military training students
The military training students "Ehab Behairy" 
I do not know much about the background of that photo and Behairy deactivated his Facebook account. I hope he is not in trouble because of it.

2- Waiting for her father's trial by Ahmed Abdel Gawad

The girl waiting for her father's trial
The girl waiting for her father's trial "Ahmed Abdel Gawad" 
A photo of a young girl waiting for her father's trial to start by photographer Ahmed Abdel Gawad.
Abdel Gawad works in Al-Shorouk newspaper which got an excellent Photojournalism section.

1- And the Photo of the year 2016 is from The funeral of El-Botroseya Church bombing's victims by Eslam Gomaa

A mother crying during bombing victims' funeral
A mother crying during the funeral of El-Botroseya church bombing's
victims in Cairo "Eslam Gomaa" 
The best photo of the year 2016 according to Shawkan Photo awards is from the funeral of El-Botroseya Church bombing victims showing a grieving mother screaming while she was in a bus.
It is extremely sad. It was taken by Eslam Gomaa.
You can find more of Gomaa's work here.
You can see the rest of the news photos that made it to the finals here.

The Shawkan Photo awards launched a new category this year: Egypt's Daily Life
It is a great category.
Here are the top five photos descendingly as selected by the panel of judges as the best Daily Life photos in Egypt in 2016.

5- Ramadan morning by Eslam Gamal

Ramadan morning
Ramadan Morning "Eslam Gamal" 
Another photo from my favorite Egypt's Daily Life photos for 2016. Those people appearing in Eslam's photo are actually his parents.
You can see more of his work here.

4- In the Car by Ahmed Abdel Hadye

In the car
In the car "Ahmed Abdel Hadye" 
You can find more of Abdel El-Hadye's work on his Facebook page.

3- At the café by Shady Essam

At the cafe
At the cafe " Shady Essam" 
That scene you can find in the Egyptian authentic cafes all over the country captured by Shady Essam.

2- Wedding in Belqas by Ali Zaray

Wedding in Belqas "Ali Zaray" 
This "Belqas Wedding hangover" or "Stella beer ad" was one of the best photos I have seen in 2016 by the very talented Ali Zaray whom you should follow his work. He is from my favorite local photographers by the way.
It may sound strange for some but yes in some very local working class weddings, beer is presented to the guests and yes they are Muslims. Legend says that "hashish" sometimes is presented
Do not ask how or why because I do not know how this trend spread.

1- Rosetta Children by Mohamed Mahdy

Rosetta children "Mohamed Mahdy" 
Taken in Rosetta by photographer Mohamed Mahdy, I can call it the boy and the chick.
Here is Mohamed Mahdy's Facebook page if you are interested more in his work.
You can see the rest of the Daily life photos that made it to the finals here.

Now aside from the above photos, here are my favorite photos that did not make to both final lists.
Yup, Zeinobia's list of top news photos in 2016:

A grieving mother at the funeral of El-Botroseya Church bombing
A grieving mother at the funeral of El-Botroseya
church bombing's victims "Khaled Desouki" 
In December 2016, this photo taken by Khaled Desouki for AFP summarizes a lot about this horrifying and cowardly terrorist act that targetted a church killing over 26 people, mostly from women and children.

Rosetta boat victim's mother
Rosetta boat victim's mother "Mohamed Abdel Ghanny"
Another sad photo featuring another grieving mother who found her son among those who drowned in the Mediterranean in a quest for a better life on the other side in September in Rosetta.  
Egyptian student running from security forces
A high school student running from security forces
"Mohamed Mateb" 
 How high school students attempted to protest at Tahrir square against cheating scandal and ministry of education but their protest was dispersed by security forces in July 2016. 
Mona Mina
Mona Mina vs. security forces "Mostafa Darwish 
Mona Mina was the few women that made headlines in Egypt in 2016 defending both the rights of the patients and the doctors as well.

Train in Bani Sweif
The flying train of Bani Sweif "Mohamed Abdel Ghanny" 
A train derailed up in Bani Sweif like that injuring nearly 70 people in February 2016. 

When Mubarak was officially convicted
When Mubarak was officially convicted "Walaa Gomaa" 
When ousted president Mubarak became the first Egyptian president to be convicted of corruption by the court in January 2016, Walaa Gomaa captured this moment on the face of his lawyer Fareed El-Deeb.
Now to my favorite Daily Life photos from this year's competition.
The builders and the rain "Mostafa Salem" 
That place in the Egyptian countryside "Islam Agami" 
I really hope and pray that next time this competition will be held in December 2017, Shawkan will be a free man.


  1. My favorite by far is the high school student running from these "security" thugs.

    1. I am surprised that it did not make it to the final list !!


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