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February 19, 2012Launched in October of last year, the Photography Award is designed to unearth hidden amateur talent with a camera among the residents of Qatar. Hundreds of pictures were submitted and some incredible prizes – the overall winner will be flying to New York for a one-month, all-expenses-paid photography course at The New York Film Academy – are soon to be handed out to the winners.
The hundreds of entries have been pored over by the seven-person competition jury, which comprises some hugely respected names in the creative firmament. The jury is led by Mr Maher Attar, professional photographer, author and publisher, along with Iraqi artist and sculptor, Mr Ahmad Al Bahrani, Mr Jassim Al Muhanadi, General Secretary of the Qatar Photography Society, Mr Mohamed Jaidah, Jaidah Group’s Chief Development Officer. Mrs Roula Ayoub, the Creative Director of Firefly Communications, Mrs Helene Bonte, Jaidah Group’s Senior Interior Designer, and Mr Kareem Zarka, Managing Director of Grey Group.
Since the completion closed on December 31, the jury has met several times to whittle down the 469 pictures sent in. Some of this number fell by the wayside for not complying with the competition’s terms and conditions and/or the competition theme (‘REFELCTIONS’) but those that remained were assessed, and the five strongest images were selected at the jury’s last meeting on February 15th. The photos that did not make it among the first five will be subject to public vote on the award website www.jaidahphotoaward.com where the voting on 107 photos will start and will decide on the 6th winning photo.
The competition has now entered its final phase, and all that remains is for the winners to be announced. The award ceremony will take place on April 4th, where a selection of the best entries – and, of course, the six winning images – will be displayed at an exhibition at Katara Cultural Village, followed by another exhibition at Al Salam- The Gate & The Mall.
Mohamed Jaidah commented, “Jaidah Group is committed to nurturing Qatari society and, in the case of this competition, trying to unearth exceptional local artistic talent. The standard of the entries that the jury has seen – and we’ve examined each and every one – has been exceptionally high, very affirming, and better than we could have hoped for.
“We’re really looking forward to honouring the winners, and the exhibition that is going to follow the prize giving.”
Maher Attar, head of the jury committee, added, “I’m in full agreement with Mohamed Jaidah in that the standard of entries was very good indeed. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him and the other members of the jury for their hard work and learned eye in selecting the winners from a host of top-quality entries.
“I’d also like to thank Jaidah Group for putting their weight behind this competition in terms of sponsorship, as this is undoubtedly an important cultural milestone for Qatar and the competition entrants. Not forgetting and all those people who will come to see what promises to be a superb post-award exhibition at Katara. Please join us!”