Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Story Behind The Photograph

While browsing "Moments: The Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographs"book a few days ago, I noticed the story behind photograph below.



Stringer / © Associated Press

A gunman, center left, holds a pistol to the head of an Iraqi election worker lying in Baghdad's Haifa Street on Sunday. The man kneeling at right is also an election worker who was pulled from the car.


Some of you probably still remember our discussion when this photograph was published last year. None of us knew the story behind the photograph. So for the curious among us, including myself, here's the story of how this photograph came to life and won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize as part of a package submitted by the Associated Press:


One of the Pulitzer photographs carried the credit line "stringer." Fearing deadly reprisals, the photographer remained unidentified after he photographed insurgents, pistols in hand, murdering election workers. Tipped by a colleague about burning vehicles in a city street, the photographer went to the scene and found two cars that were bombed. One continued to burn. Others in the street directed traffic away from the scene. The photographer left his cameras in his car some distance away and sought information from the crowd. "None of your business," he was told. He returned to his car, at which time an explosion nearly knocked him down. He turned and saw armed men in the intersection attacking election workers. Using his camera with 400-mm lens, he shot the scene as two of the election workers were shot to death in the intersection.


It sucks when you win the Pulitzer Prize and can't say, "Hey, that was me who took the photograph." I hope one day he can say it out loud.

This year's elections were very different with the participation of most Iraqi sectors. But, there's one story that's been haunting me since I read it in the Iraqi media. Akba has the translation to the story:


We regret to inform you of the murder of Mr. Qusay Sallah Al-din president of the Iraqi United students union for Musil university.

To my fellow Iraqis :

I would like to inform you of what happened to the brothers Qusay and Ahmed Sallah Al-Din, And they were residents of the Domiz district in Musil.

Only the day they participated in organising a demonstration at Musil university against the hike in oil prices and election results and speaking out against the Al-Jafari and Hakeem. The two brothers were kidnapped from their residence by unknown assailants and were later found dead with both their heads cut off and dumped on the outskirts of the city.

This incident has caused great anger and sadness to the Musil university student body. Today a great demonstration of almost 15000 students and residents came out in protest and to participate in the wake and prayer for the two dead brothers. This demonstration was accompanied by gun fire and calls for the removal of the government and the revenge from Hakeem and Al-jafari militias.

Read more...


This is why I, and most educated Iraqis, are very worried. We've seen these acts during Saddam's dictatorship and here's Hakim and the rest of that group repeating THAT same brutal history.




Moments:
The Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographs

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