Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Real Life, Amidst Chaos (Lebanon)

This photo (shot by Spencer Platt) shows a group of young Lebanese driving through a South Beirut neighborhood devastated by Israeli bombings. Taken on 15 August 2006, the first day of the ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah when thousands of Lebanese started returning to their homes." World Press Photo jury chair Michele McNally describes the winning image: "It's a picture you can keep looking at. It has the complexity and contradiction of real life, amidst chaos. This photograph makes you look beyond the obvious."

Those in the picture are: The driver- Jad Maroun; his sister Tamara, the blond girl sitting in the front; his other sister, Bissan sitting in the back of the car; Liliane Nacouzi - held a tissue to her face in the winning picture because of the fumes from the fires still burning in the rubble. Nour Nasser is hidden behind Liliane.

Four of the young people in the group are actually residents of the area and had to flee during the shelling. This was the first time they returned to the suburbs and they were eager to check on their apartment and their belongings. All the people in the picture, were displaced by the war and were put up by their employers in the same hotel in the centre of Beirut, where they became friends.

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