Meet the Saudi photographer behind Hajj 2019’s most iconic picture

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A frail, elderly pilgrim found himself in the safe hands of a Saudi soldier after he spotted him in Mina struggling to complete Hajj rites. (Saud Almosihij / @O03oK)
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(Saud Almosihij)
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(Saud Almosihij)
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Saud Almusihij while he wait for the perfect moment to take his picture
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Arab News front page on Monday the 12th of August 2019
Updated 12 August 2019

Meet the Saudi photographer behind Hajj 2019’s most iconic picture

JEDDAH: Photographers capture tens of thousands of images during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, but few are shared widely on social media — and even fewer occupy the coveted spot on the front page of Arab News.
Saudi photographer Saud Almusihij was looking for just such an image on Sunday, as he was keen to enter the Best Hajj Photo competition.
Scanning the throng of pilgrims, he spotted a police officer approaching an elderly man clearly suffering in the heat, with pain in his feet.
“The policeman spoke to the old man, poured water on his head to cool him down, then picked him up and carried him for almost 3 kilometers,” Almusihij told Arab News.
“He had to stop several times to catch his breath, but he kept going until he got the old man to where he wanted to be in Arafat.”
To ensure that his photos were natural and unposed, Almusihij made himself inconspicuous for 30 minutes as he watched the act of charity and kindness unfold. One of his images so perfectly captured the spirit of Hajj that Arab News editors selected it for our front page in Monday’s edition, and other media outlets also published it.
“The huge circulation of the photo has inspired me to work more at Hajj, and hopefully I will be participating in as many Hajj seasons as possible,” Almusihij said.

Arab News columnist wins prestigious global scholar prize

Updated 51 min 51 sec ago

Arab News columnist wins prestigious global scholar prize

  • This award recognizes an individual scholar who has had a substantial impact in the study of genocide and mass violence

PHNOM PENH: The International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) has awarded the 2019 Engaged Scholar Prize to Arab News columnist and eminent academic Dr. Azeem Ibrahim, for his “exemplary vision and influence” in the study of human rights violations and mass violence cases. 

Founded in 1994, the International Association of Genocide Scholars is a global, interdisciplinary, non-partisan organization that seeks to further research and teaching about the nature, causes, and consequences of genocide, and advance policy studies on genocide prevention. This award recognizes an individual scholar who has had a substantial impact in the study of genocide and mass violence.

Glasgow-born Dr. Ibrahim was recognized principally for his work on the genocide committed by the Myanmar state against the country’s Rohingya minority. He is the author of several books, including the seminal book “Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar’s Genocide” (Hurst: 2016) and has researched and written extensively on the impact of displaced populations including the Syrians, Uyghur Muslims and others. Apart from Arab News, his publications have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, CNN, Daily Telegraph, Yale Global, Dhaka Tribune and many others. 

Dr. Ibrahim was one of a handful of scholars to foresee and warn of the impending genocide of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar in 2016. The Myanmar military undertook a policy of ethnically cleansing over 700,000 Rohingya and forcing them into Bangladesh, which now houses the largest refugee camp in the world. He is now regularly invited to brief policymakers around the globe on possible solutions for this complex situation. 

Henry C. Theriault, president of the IAGS, said: “The entire board is thrilled that the award has gone to Dr. Ibrahim as his accomplishments and commitment to human rights are truly impressive.” 

Dr. Ibrahim is currently a director at the Center for Global Policy in Washington, DC, and is working on creating the Rohingya Genocide Archives, which aims to investigate and document the crimes committed against the Rohingya by Myanmar and create a databank that can then be used by scholars, historians, researchers and any possible future tribunals.