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National Geographic Abu Dhabi (NGAD) and Almarai celebrate ten years of unforgettable ‘Moments’

National Geographic Abu Dhabi (NGAD) and Almarai are celebrating a decade of ‘Moments’, which has established itself as one of the largest photography competitions across the Middle East and North Africa.

Credits: Muhammad Barawi

Launched in 2010 to nurture the region’s talented photographers and provide them with a platform to showcase their creative work widely, the competition has attracted over 275,000 aspiring photographers to date and has been credited with changing the lives of dozens of winners, setting them on the path to professional growth.

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Over the last ten years, ‘Moments’ has provided unique documentation of the region and taken National Geographic Abu Dhabi’s audience on a fascinating cultural, historic and social journey of discovery throughout the Arab world.

Based on a unique theme that was assigned each year to the competition, the image submissions have depicted both the richness of the region’s heritage and the diversity of its people. They have captured memorable moments such as tourists at Burj Khalifa in the UAE, a vibrant alignment of spices at Wahran Souq in Algeria, puppet makers in Atfih in Egypt’s Siwa Oasis, sesame sellers in Saudi Arabia’s southern cities of Jazan and Najran, performers in the old medina of Marrakesh, a family gathering in Oman’s Nizwa city, a traditional wedding ceremony in Palestine, joggers on Beirut’s lively corniche and the breathtaking colours of Sidi Bou Said in the heart of Tunisia.

Commenting on ‘Moments’, Mohamed Mahdi, the winner of the competition’s seventh edition, said: “Anyone who starts out in his career by winning the Moments competition is very fortunate. Being associated with this competition is priceless and has helped me tremendously in launching my career.”

Fatima Shabir, who won the ‘Documentary Photo’ in the competition’s seventh edition, said: “The ‘Moments’ competition is the most important competition in the Arab world. I was about to lose faith in ever achieving my dream as a photographer. ‘Moments’ restored my faith and helped to gain more confidence in myself to pursue my goal of becoming a photojournalist.”

Muhammad Barawi, the winner of the competition’s eighth edition, expressed his gratitude for ‘Moments’: “Winning the Moments competition opened doors for me and gave me the opportunity to become a professional photographer. It was a privilege to be mentored by National Geographic experts, using the high-quality photography equipment I won. Winning the competition was a turning point for my career.”

He also added: “The chances of getting discovered as a photographer in the Arab region are rare. My advice to every photographer is to participate in the ‘Moments’ competition.”

Zainab Khalifa, who won the competition’s ninth edition, commented: ‘Moments’ paves the way for photographers to succeed in their career and supports them as they embark on their new journey. The journey requires hard work and the ability to deliver a powerful message through the lens of a camera. Having access to National Geographic is a rare and precious opportunity to learn these skills.”

Wafa Abdel Majeed, the winner of the competition’s ninth edition in the junior category, also commented: ”Winning the ‘Moments’ competition increased my confidence in my work. It gave me the push to go forward, to explore the world of photography and fulfil my passion. One thing I learnt through National Geographic is that sometimes the most impactful photo is the simplest.”

Moments is held 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.