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Winners Honored in the 2nd “Spaces of Light” Photography Competition
24 Apr 2012
ABU DHABI: Last week, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre (SZGMC) hosted a ceremony for winners of the Second "Spaces of Light" Photography Competition, organised under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, in celebration of the spectacular aesthetics and the artistic culture of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
The ceremony was attended by His Excellency Sultan Dahi Sultan Maasam Alhemeiri, Under-secretary of the Support Services Division of Presidential Affairs and Deputy Chairman of SZGMC's Board, SZGMC Board members, photographers participating in the competition, representatives of the media and members of the artistic community.
The Under-secretary of the Support Services Division of Presidential Affairs and Deputy Chairman of SZGMC's Board presented prizes and memorial plaques to the winners who came from six countries: the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Lebanon, Algeria, Slovenia and the Philippines. The competition prize money, totaling AED 300,000, was divided into three categories. First place winners each received AED 50,000, while those in second place received AED 30,000 and those in third received AED 20,000.
In the "Mosque and People" category, first prize went to Meiraf Tariq, from Algeria; Hamad Rahma Jumaa Al Falasi, from the UAE, won second prize; and Saradzikbino, from Slovenia, won third prize. In the ’Macro/Detail‘ category, Rahma Jumaa Al Falasi, from the UAE, won the first prize; Saeed Suleiman Nassouri, also from the UAE, won second prize; and Jessie Antonigerma, from the Philippines, took third place.
In the "Architectural Landscape" category, no first prize was awarded because the judges felt that no entry fulfilled the overall conditions and requirements. However, Abdel Qader Qinawi, from Sudan, claimed second prize, and Bilal Mohammed Ismail, from Lebanon, the third.
In his speech during the ceremony, Yousef Al Obaidli, Director of the SZGMC, stated: "Since its inauguration last year, the ’Spaces of Light' competition has attracted wide-scale attention from both professional and amateur photographers. The 5,000 entries this year from 50 countries, compared to 4,000 entries last year, assures the prestigious status of ’Spaces of Light‘ as a significant cultural event attracting wide participation from both the national and international communities."
He thanked the organising committee and the panel of distinguished judges, which included four photographic and artistic professionals with UAE, Gulf and International experience, for their efforts in making the 2nd ’Spaces of Light‘ competition a success.
Al Obaidli further stressed that the continued success of the ’Spaces of Light‘ Photography competition serves as a motive to further promote the event and engage an even wider spectrum of people who are interested in photography throughout the world.
The SZGMC Director pointed out that the high level of participation in the contest reflects the general interest in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque as a major landmark in the UAE and the region, and as a grand religious edifice expressing the aesthetics of Islamic architecture and the uniqueness of Abu Dhabi.
"Such enthusiasm from the public motivates us to exert more effort to achieve the SZGMC's goals behind organizing this competition, including encouraging the artistic talents of individuals in UAE society. We particularly wish to support those who are interested in photography, and in training and developing their skills, and to encourage them to have a greater appreciation of the visual arts and culture in general," Al Obaidli added.
In the Judge’s Speech, Mohammed Al Marzouqi said that the competition, which ran from December 11, 2011, has confirmed its status as a universal heritage and cultural event that attracts all segments of society to demonstrate the distinguished aesthetic aspects that are unique to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. "The photograph constitutes a vivid document that expresses the reality of a place in a single aesthetic impression, adding artistic and aesthetic dimensions to its historical value," Al Marzouqi added.
The panel of judges noticed in the variance between professional and amateur entries. Most entries were keen to highlight the Mosque’s aesthetics and its inherent harmony of shapes, masses and colours. A number of photographers were creative, highlighting the Mosque’s various architectural features and structure by combining their talents, visual cultures and memories to create photographs compatible with the status of this grand cultural and religious edifice, which bears the name of Zayed, who lives on in our hearts.
Al Marzouqi stressed that the SZGMC was careful to set specific regulations and criteria for the competition, including logging entries anonymously by deleting the names of the participants and allocating a number to each entry to ensure impartiality. Based on these procedures, the judges reviewed and evaluated the entries and determined the winning photos in the three categories.
On behalf of the judges, Al Marzouqi thanked HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed for his patronage of this distinguished contest. He also thanked the SZGMC’s administration and the organising committee for their tireless efforts to ensure the event’s success.
The judging panel, comprising Dr Jassem Al Awadhi, Adeeb Shaaban, Mohammed Al Marzouqi and Nasser Haji, were honored by HE Sultan Dahi Alhemeri. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Deputy Chairman of SZGMC's Board opened the Spaces of Light Winners Exhibition, in which the competition’s winning photos, along with many of the other entries selected by the judges, are now being exhibited.
The SZGMC plans to publish the ’Spaces of Light‘s winning entries in the next edition of the book of the same name.
The Spaces of Light Winners Exhibition will remain on display at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre (South Foyer) and visitors are welcome view it during general visiting hours over the next two months.