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National Geographic Abu Dhabi and Almarai Announce Winner of 10th Annual ‘Moments’ Photography Competition

Salem Sarhan, age 27, becomes first Emirati to win competition in its ten-year history.

NGAD Moments 2020 Winner UAE Salem Sarhan

National Geographic Abu Dhabi (NGAD) and Almarai announced today the winner of the 10th annual ‘Moments’ competition, one of the largest photography competitions across the Middle East and North Africa, designed to nurture the talents of aspiring photographers.

Salem Sarhan, age 27, from Al Ain, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, was named the winner of this year’s competition, in recognition of his talent and creative interpretation of this year’s theme of ‘2020 Moments – A Year Lived Differently.’ His image captures his brothers performing their devotion at home, following the temporary closure of the places of worship, due to the pandemic.

‘Moments’ judge two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner and National Geographic photographer Mohammad Muheisen was drawn to the image’s portrayal of a tradition lived differently during the pandemic. He also praised the quality and colour composition of the image.

Salem will have his photograph released in the National Geographic Alarabiya Magazine, and receive $10,000 worth of professional photography equipment.

In second place came Ahmed Alazzam, age 29, from Jordan, that photographed Jordanian Calligrapher Mr. Mohamed Hendy, who has practised calligraphy since the 1950s. In the photo, Mohamed is enjoying his craft alone after the pandemic closed his workshop.

Moments 2020 Top 2 Jordan Ahmed

In third place, Palestinian Samar Abu Elouf, age 36, captured the image of a barber, Sameh, cutting the hair of relatives and neighbours in the middle of the street.

Moments 2020 Top 3 Samar Abu Elouf Palestine

Marking its tenth anniversary in 2020, National Geographic Abu Dhabi’s ‘Moments’ competition has attracted over 275,000 entries over the last decade from across the region, making it one of the largest photography competitions of its kind. It was held for the tenth year in 2020, and the eighth consecutive year in partnership with Almarai, the largest vertically integrated dairy company in the world and MENA’s largest food production and distribution company.

The company has been a strategic partner of National Geographic Abu Dhabi and the ‘Moments’ Competition since 2014, with a shared vision and commitment to supporting Arab budding photographers, through offering them exposure and the possibility to be discovered on such a prominent platform.