In the part one of the Winners of HIPA 2016-17 we are presenting the winning photographs - the Grand Prize and the five winners of 'The Challenge' category

'The Challenge' was the main theme of HIPA 2016 -17 competition. There are many challenges in life from personal struggles to general life difficulties. War, disease, famine, lost childhood, survival, and many other unimaginable hardships. Everyone has a different story to tell. HIPA is bringing together some of the best photographer to show us 'the challenge'. In order to take a photo at the right time, to convey the intended feelings, many photographers face challenge in their line of work. The challenge could be in a format, the composition, the content or the subject of the photographs.

The Grand Prize was selected from within 'The Challenge' category and it went to Arash Yagmaeian from United States of America. The winning photo is 'Landfill Ballerina'. Five winners have been selected from the same category: Giulio Montini from Italy; Adel El Masri from Palestinian Territory; Mohammad Khorshid from Kuwait, Mohammed Yousef from Kuwait and Anton Unitsyn from Russian Federation.

The HIPA Award Ceremony took place at Dubai Opera on March 15, 2007. See the article: HIPA Unveils the Winners of the Sixth Season ‘The Challenge’


'Landfill Ballerina' by Arash Yagmaeian, USA

The photograph shows a girl searching for recyclable items in a landfill in Guwahati, India. A small community lives inside this landfill and work as a team, some barefooted, sorting through mountains of garbage for less than $2 a day. They share this landfill with the endangered stork, the greater adjutant, along with some cows and dogs. The garbage is stacked very high and is very unpredictable since the ground beneath their feet can collapse at any time. The stench and fumes from the garbage is strong and heavy with animal faeces and worms swimming everywhere in this ocean of trash. The homes in this communities have no electricity or running water, and people live in an extremely unhealthy environment, with little to no chance of escaping. The challenge this girl faces on a daily bases is unimaginable.

image 'Landfill Ballerina' by Arash Yagmaeian, USA / Courtesy of HIPA

image Arash Yagmaeian / Photo © Islamic Arts Magazine


1st Winner - 'A Butterfly in Water' by Giulio Montini, Italy

A tattooed swimmer competing at the Italian National Paralympics Swimming Championships. The young man, whose arms are amputated, is the national champion in the 200 metres individual medley. Giulio Montini told us how this man lost his arms a few years ago and refused to be limited by that. For many people that would be a just too much to bear. The winning photo is so inspiring as it shows that no matter what happens in life, no matter what struggles we are faced with, we can be champions if we try hard enough.

image 'A Butterfly in Water' by Giulio Montini, Italy / Courtesy of HIPA

image Giulio Montini / Photo © Islamic Arts Magazine

2nd Winner - 'Knowledge, the Most Powerful Weapon' by Adel El Masri, Palestinian Territory

A boy on his way to school walks past an armed man in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. Children often face two options growing up; either join and armed group or attain an education which would be a stepping stone to a brighter future. In the world of cruel violence knowledge become the most powerful weapon.

image 'Knowledge, the Most Powerful Weapon' by Adel El Masri, Palestinian Territory / Courtesy of HIPA

image Adel El Masri / Photo © Islamic Arts Magazine

3rd Winner - 'A Fight for Survival' Mohammad Khorshid, Kuwait

Two white-tailed eagles fight over food in the cold Hungarian plains. The majestic adults duel with one another, sometimes to the death, in a bid to rein supreme and ensure they are well fed during the harsh winter months.

image 'A Fight for Survival' Mohammad Khorshid, Kuwait / Courtesy of HIPA

image Mohammad Khorshid / Photo © Islamic Arts Magazine

4th Winner - 'Grown Up Too Soon' by Mohammed Yousef, Kuwait

In a small Syrian refugee camp on the Syrian-Jordanian border, there are no adults in sight as they are out looking for work. In the pitiful conditions, a small girl is left carrying her young infant sister who is draped in a dirty old blanket. This photograph has a deep emotional connection with the viewer. The sadness in the girl's eyes reveal what is like when an innocent child's play gets replaced by harsh and severe reality the refugee children have to face.

image 'Grown Up Too Soon' by Mohammed Yousef, Kuwait / Courtesy of HIPA

image Mohammed Yousef / Photo © Islamic Arts Magazine

5th Winner - 'Angels of the Clinic' by Anton Unitsyn, Russian Federation

Time goes by very slowly in a cancer clinic for children in the Russian city of Novosibirsk. The photograph is showing children, who in their innocence, stand for the ultimate bravery, as they adopt to the life in hospital. Children will always be children who smile and play, as if everything is fine. Despite the challenges and difficulties they face with their illness, a hope is still there.

image 'Angels of the Clinic' by Anton Unitsyn, Russian Federation / Courtesy of HIPA

image Anton Unitsyn / Photo © Islamic Arts Magazine

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