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.


Facebook Journalism Project and ICFJ launch fund to support Lebanon’s news industry

Updated 13 August 2020

Facebook Journalism Project and ICFJ launch fund to support Lebanon’s news industry

  • The new program will support local media outlets

The Facebook Journalism Project, in collaboration with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), has announced that it will invest $300,000 in a program that aims to support the stabilization and recovery needs of journalists and news organizations in Lebanon affected by the Beirut explosion.

The new program called “Supporting Beirut: Response and Recovery Fund” will assist in supporting local media outlets that have suffered damage to infrastructure and resources.

ICFJ and Facebook will award $150,000 in emergency relief funds to Beirut-based news organizations and journalists directly impacted by the blast and in need of urgent financial support.

The first phase of this program will involve identifying Lebanese news organizations and journalists who require financial support. These journalists and news organizations will then be able to apply for immediate emergency relief grants. ICFJ will award grants to select Beirut-based news organizations and journalists who meet a set criteria.

“Our hearts go out to the people of Lebanon and everyone affected by this immeasurable tragedy,” said Mohamed Omar, news partnerships manager, Middle East and North Africa, at Facebook. “We’ve been getting regular updates from our contacts in Beirut; the damage to the city’s infrastructure, including its many newsrooms, is enormous. In spite of these devastating circumstances, the news industry is working hard, under extraordinary conditions, to keep people informed and updated,” he said.

“We applaud their efforts and are continuously working with our partners to both understand their needs and support them the best we can,” he added.

ICFJ, a non-profit organization focused on raising the quality of journalism worldwide, will mobilize its local networks to implement a two-phase response and recovery initiative for the Beirut crisis.

Sharon Moshavi, ICFJ’s senior vice president for new initiatives, said: “People turn to local journalists for critical information on how to keep their friends, families and communities safe. As the impact of the devastating explosion continues to unfold in Beirut, ICFJ is prepared to work with the Facebook Journalism Project to provide tailored support to Lebanese journalists and news organizations that are providing critical information to a nation in crisis.”

The Facebook Journalism Project and ICFJ will offer additional, deeper support to select Beirut-based news organizations during phase two, depending on the longer-term impacts of the crisis.

Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it would donate more than $2.1 million to local hospitals, medical institutions and NGOs to support relief and recovery efforts, $1 million of which has been matched by its community as part of a Facebook fundraiser.