Egyptian photojournalist wins World Press Photo Award

Heba Khamis with one of her award-winning photographs from the ‘Banned Beauty’ project. (Courtesy @Heba_Khamis)
Updated 16 April 2018
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Egyptian photojournalist wins World Press Photo Award

  • Heba Khamis was granted the award for “Banned Beauty;” a photo series highlighting the practice of breast ironing in Cameron.
  • Photojournalist’s work concentrates on social issues that are often ignored.

Cairo: Heba Khamis became the first Egyptian photojournalist to win the World Press Photo Award.

The 29-year-old woman was granted the award for “Banned Beauty;” a photo series highlighting the practice of breast ironing in Cameroon. Her story won first prize in the contemporary issues category.

Her photos shed light on the Cameroonian practice of flattening the breasts of girls, aged eight to 12, using heated objects, in the belief that it will stop them from maturing, deter rape and delay sexual encounter.

From Amsterdam, Khamis took to Instagram to share a picture of herself with one of her award-winning photos.

She expressed her gratitude for receiving it, and dedicated it to her father, whom she said had passed away last year.

“It’s a dream for many photographers all over the world, but unfortunately each story has a dark side, on the same day last year exactly six hours from now I lost my father...” Khamis said in her speech for the World Press Photo Award.

“While I was traveling, and my passport was in another embassy preparing for another trip, I missed my chance to say goodbye to my father, to say I forgive you, please forgive me.”

“We live so much in other people’s moments, that we sometimes miss our own ...” she said.

Khamis graduated with a bachelors in painting before opting to pursue a career in photojournalism. Her work concentrates on social issues that are often ignored.


Vogue shines a light on Yara Shahidi, Priyanka Chopra and maybe even the Khadra twins

Updated 56 min 1 sec ago
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Vogue shines a light on Yara Shahidi, Priyanka Chopra and maybe even the Khadra twins

DUBAI: Vogue magazine is set to spotlight young talent in its August 2018 issue, with a feature on Iranian-American actress Yara Shahidi, possible photos of US-Palestinian DJs Simi and Haze Khadra and snaps of Bollywood-to-Hollywood superstar Priyanka Chopra.
The Khadra twins took to Instagram late last week to post a shot from their project with Vogue, which they captioned “(Behind the scenes) for @voguemagazine August issue.” The magazine has released scant information about the apparent collaboration, but it’s safe to say the final product will be interesting to say the least — the twins wore puffed up, oversized neon coats in the photo with each of their sharp hair-dos dyed to match the green and pink outfits.

Born in Saudi Arabia and partly raised in Dubai, Simi and Haze Khadra, known around the world by their moniker “SimiHaze,” are regularly seen with the likes of Kendall Jenner, Selena Gomez and the Hadid sisters.
The pair regularly play DJ sets at parties and festivals and have even played for eager crowds at this year’s Instagram-famous Coachella festival in the US.
Iranian-American actress Shahidi, of “Black-ish” fame, is also set to be featured in the hallowed pages of the magazine.
Shahidi, who hails from a highly accomplished family — one of her cousins is the rapper Nas, while another, Anousheh Ansari, was the first Iranian-American astronaut — talks about her astonishing achievements in the interview, which is available on Vogue’s website.
“She has discussed political activism with Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey, is a brand ambassador for Chanel, and started a voting guide for young people called Eighteen x ‘18. She graduated last year from the Dwight School in New York, having received acceptance letters from every college she applied to, and will start at Harvard in the fall. She can tell you the year she becomes eligible to run for president off the top of her head,” an excerpt from the interview conducted by Vogue’s Carina Chocano reads.
The actress has, in the past, been vocal about her Iranian-African-American heritage and even called herself “a proud black Iranian” — her father, Afshin Shahidi, moved from Iran to the US when he was eight-years-old, while her mother is a US-born actress.
“One of my greatest fears is living a self-centric life. I think this industry is bred to create that — especially if your physical body is your tool or your face is what makes you money,” the wise-beyond-her-years 18-year-old told the magazine.
She is as known for her political activism as her acting chops, and famously opposed the proposed US immigration ban that caused uproar last year, shairng a message on her social media accounts at the time saying: “If my baba was stuck in an airport because of a Muslim ban 39 years ago, he would have never fallen in love with my mama. I would not exist and I wouldn’t have two amazing brothers.”