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Emirati man wins National Geographic photo contest

UAE photographer Salem Sarhan won the National Geographic photo contest with an original photograph depicting him with his brothers at prayer time. He stands out among more than 27,000 participants, ahead of talented counterparts such as Saudi Arabian Afrah al-Harby.   

The competition organized by National Geographic in partnership with Saudi dairy brand Almarai has just concluded with the victory of Emirati photographer Salem Sarhan from Abu Dhabi. The latter won the competition, whose theme this year was “Moments: 2020, a year lived differently“, thanks to an original photograph, taken at sunset with the help of a drone, representing him with his brothers performing their daily prayers at home, following the closure of mosques caused by the Covid-19 pandemic

The man who only bought his first camera a few years ago was able to make a name for himself in the midst of no less than 27,000 participants. In addition to his award, this victory will earn him the equivalent of the coquettish sum of 10,000 dollars in photographic equipment. Enough to express his talent in the best conditions. 

“Off the beaten track”

Determined to show originality, the man who is usually rather accustomed to photographing still lifes or cityscapes, gave a piece of advice to those who would consider following in his footsteps: “Zeal, perseverance and reflection off the beaten track. These are the key elements that distinguish you as a photographer“.

For her part, Saudi Arabian Afrah al-Harby, who was shortlisted for the victory and finished in the top 10 (like her compatriot Hussein Ali), admits to having been greatly surprised and savored this recognition of her talent, underscoring what she describes as a “unique moment” in a photographer’s career.