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.


History goes under the hammer as London celebrates Islamic art

Updated 27 April 2018
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History goes under the hammer as London celebrates Islamic art

  • Leading auction houses this week embarked on an 1,800-year artistic odyssey with treasures from across the region
  • A painting by the late Egyptian painter Mahmoud Said fetched the highest bid £633,000

LONDON: For aficionados of Middle Eastern art, London was the place to be this week. During the biannual Islamic Art Week, the big auction houses held sales of everything from antiquities to modern-art installations, with many works receiving well above their estimates.

Sotheby’s 20th Century Art/Middle East on Tuesday featured two Saudi artists, Ahmed Mater and Maha Malluh, alongside works by  Morocco’s Farid Belkahia, Lebanon’s Paul Guiragossian, Iraq’s Shakir Hassan Al-Said and Syria’s Louai Kayali. A painting by the late Egyptian painter Mahmoud Said, often a record-setter at auctions of Arab art, fetched the highest bid: “Adam and Eve,” at £633,000 (it was estimated at £300,00-£500,000). 

The same day, Sotheby’s held the seventh season of its Orientalist Sale, with Edwin Lord Weeks’ painting “Rabat (The Red Gate)” drawing the highest bid at £573,000, above its estimate of £200,000-£300,000.

At Bonham’s, a pair of gold pendant earrings from the collection of Maharani Jindan Kaur, the mother of the last Sikh ruler of the Punjab, sold for £175,000, eight times the original estimate. 

At Sotheby’s Arts of the Islamic World auction on Wednesday, an Iznik pottery flask raised the highest price, £669,000, well above the estimated £60,000-£80,000.

The Christie’s auction on Thursday featured Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds, including Oriental rugs and carpets. A rare palimpsest of a Qur’an written over an earlier Coptic text, thought to be from Egypt and to date back to the second century, was bought for £596,750.