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Yemeni scene of pain wins World Press Photo for Spaniard

Samuel Aranda´s image was captured inside a makeshift field hospital during the revolt

Isabel Ferrer
The photograph of a wounded man being held by a family member in Sana, Yemen.
The photograph of a wounded man being held by a family member in Sana, Yemen. SAMUEL ARANDA / THE NEW YORK TIM (EFE)

The Spanish photographer Samuel Aranda has won the World Press Photo 2011 award for an image of the Yemen uprising that was published in The New York Times. Taken in the capital, Sana, on October 15, it depicts a woman covered with a black niqab (a full-body veil that only leaves the eyes in sight) holding a wounded relative in her arms.

The scene was captured inside a mosque that was turned into a makeshift field hospital for the victims of the revolt that took place in Yemen against recently ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The photograph’s composition is reminiscent of artworks such as Michelangelo’s famous Pietà sculpture.

“It is a photo that speaks for the entire region. It stands for Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria and for all that happened in the Arab Spring. But it shows a private, intimate side of what went on. And it shows the role that women played, not only as care-givers, but as active people in the movement,” said Koyo Kouoh, a member of the jury that chose the winner.

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