Message from winners of UNRWA's 2012 photo competition

05 November 2012

A photo of smiling children enjoying a frugal birthday party at Beach refugee camp in northern Gaza caught the eyes of judges at this year's photo competition for young Palestinian refugees, earning it the top prize in "Change the Picture", organised by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) with financial support from the European Union.

The photo was taken by Samar Abu Ouf, a young Palestine refugee living in Gaza, who said: "My photo was of young children celebrating their friend's birthday... Despite the obstacles, they were able to enjoy themselves. Because they did not have electricity, they used candles. They were able to celebrate with very simple things."

The top three photographs, all submitted by refugees in the Gaza Strip, were announced at East Jerusalem's Yabous Cultural Centre last week. The exhibition also showcased a selection of additional entries portraying the lives of Palestinian refugees across all of UNRWA's fields of operation: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the occupied Palestinian territory.

Bilal Khader Tellawi's portrait of a Palestinian farmer in a potato field received the second prize. Mohammad al-Hallaq's photograph of the dramatic Gaza sunset earned him third prize.

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