Tariq Saeed Allay honours architect Rodrigues Mghames.
A poignant image of 10-year-old Hussein enjoying a quiet moment with a book while seated on the edge of a garbage bin has demonstrated the astonishing power of a single photograph in stirring emotions and driving positive change at the sixth edition of the Xposure International Photography Festival that opened today at Expo Centre Sharjah.
Hussein, who fled with his family from Syria to Lebanon, had to drop out of school and collect junk, scrap and plastic from trash cans to support his family. On finding a book in the garbage one day, the young boy began to read, as if to escape from the reality around him.
Abu Dhabi Civil Police extinguish fire in building on Hamdan Street
UAE detects 1,538 new coronavirus cases, 4 deaths in 24 hours
It was a picture captured at this crucial moment by architect Rodrigues Mghames that has changed the boy’s life forever. The photo, shared on social media platforms, went ‘viral’ in just a few hours, and became a subject of discussion on key Arabic and international media outlets as it depicted Hussein’s thirst for knowledge and passion for reading despite the harsh reality of his circumstances.
The photo became a subject of discussion on key Arabic and international media outlets.
Organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), Xposure today (Wednesday) announced the sponsorship of Hussein’s education until high school in cooperation with The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), a UAE-based global humanitarian organisation. The generous gesture is a moving testament to the impact of photography in changing lives and exemplifies Sharjah’s vision in promoting books and reading for all, especially those in vulnerable circumstances.
This picture reflects a key message embraced at Xposure about the inherent power of photography as a force for good and its ability to make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.
Xposure also honoured engineer Rodrigues Mghames at the opening ceremony of the festival in recognition of his role in sharing Hussein’s story with the world.
Photo of Hussein that was taken by Rodrigues Mghames.
Commenting on the initiative, Tariq Saeed Allay, Director General of SGMB, said: “By highlighting suffering and injustices, photography gives the world insights into people’s diverse conditions, all of which have a great impact on the viewers. By supporting Hussein, Xposure wants his picture to be a global message that takes photography’s role beyond observing and documenting reality to become a tool for changing it for the better and a means to explore solutions to the problems spotlighted by photographers.”
Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF, said: “This initiative reflects the values of compassion embodied in the UAE and particularly in Sharjah, to come to the assistance and support of less fortunate people. This aligns with TBHF’s core mission to protect and empower vulnerable children and their families in vulnerable situations across the world. We believe that knowledge and education are pivotal to changing people’s lives and aim to help fulfil Hussein’s passion for reading. In collaboration with our partners in Lebanon, TBHF will ensure his access to education with Xposure, which is today setting forth an inspiring example of how creative events and festivals can support humanitarian causes.”
On his part, Rodrigues Mghames hailed Xposure’s initiative, describing how he had contacted several charity and humanitarian organisations to help fund Hussein’s education and support his family. Mghames remarked that the impact of Sharjah’s philanthropic efforts is visible in many conflict-ridden countries and communities worldwide. He added that Xposure’s gesture is a fine example of the manifestation of the value of art and highlighted its role in the elevation of humanity.
Fifty-one of the world’s best photographers whose works will be part of the grand Xposure 2021 showcase, are flying in for the four-day festival, which will take place from Feb.10-13, at the Expo Centre Sharjah.
The biggest regional names in fashion, beauty and wellness, luxury magazine editors and top image consultants will be judging the Azyan Awards competition, during Azyan Exhibition and Conference.
Dr Jamal Sanad Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, won the Taryam and Abdullah Omran Press Award in its 6th version of 2018, for his article in Al Ittihad newspaper, under the headline “Arabic Language under Change .. Difficulties and Challenges”.
Emergency authorities received 50 calls for assistance, mostly for sandbagging of properties and help plugging leaking roofs, from residents in Sydney, the capital of New South Wales state, due to Sunday's deluge.
"Our aim is to restore our cities in the earthquake zone by handing over 319,000 residences and village houses to owners within a year," Erdogan said at a ground-breaking ceremony in quake-hit Elazig province.
These initiatives are part of the UAE's ongoing efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to nations around the world, out of the country's belief in the principle of cooperation and interdependence.
Syrian air defences were triggered by the attack, intercepting some of the missiles, according to the report. The pro-government Sham FM radio said that four soldiers were wounded in the attack, which hit a military base in the western countryside of Hom.