Saturday, October 23, 2010

UN Day 2010 Celebration

Yesterday evening was the “UN Day 2010 Celebration” at the UNESCO Palace. Tony Baroud was hosting the event, and there were live performances by a south-based Youth Group, The Lebanese-Palestinian Choir, and Violinist Jihad Akl, all of whom put on spectacular performances, especially the latter!

But the number one reason I was going was to find out if the photo I had submitted for the UN Photo Competition had made it to the exhibition. Unfortunately, it hadn’t. But among the pictures that had reached the finals, there were indeed some exceptional photos…

There were 10 winners, 8 for each category of the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) including: Reduce Poverty and Hunger, Achieve Universal Primary Education, Promote Gender Equality & Empower Women, Reduce Child Mortality, Improve Maternal Health, Combat HIV/AIDs, Malaria, and other diseases, A global partnership for development. Each of the 8 won a Nikon Coolpix P100 and a photography workshop with professor Bassam Lahoud. Then there was The People’s Choice Award, who won through online voting with over 2,000 out of over 6,000 votes. He won a round trip plane ticket to Istanbul with Kurban Travel. And finally there was The Big Winner, who won a Nikon Digital SLR D300S. And that prize went to a girl named Abir Ghattas, for this photo:

What’s interesting about that photo is that it had reminded several of the judges of a picture that once appeared on the cover of National Geographic. Later that night, on the ride home, my friend remarked that the picture in National Geographic was taken years ago (in 1985) and several years since then, they went out to look for the girl all grown up, and they were able to recognize her because of her distinctive eyes:

In conclusion, yes, I was a little disappointed at the fact that my photo hadn’t made it to the top 50, but I’m glad I got to go look at the bigger picture(s). The pictures are of “1 WORLD, 1 FUTURE, 8 GOALS”. At the end of the evening they gave out the following brochure (click photo to enlarge):

Do you know that...

Around 300,000 persons in Lebanon are considered poor and have limited access to basic nutrition and safe drinking... Out of 100 pupils, 9 are not registered at schools ... Out of 100 (aged above 15), 10 are illiterate ... Out of 128 parliamentary seats, only 4 are held by women ... Out of 1,000 infants in Lebanon, 16 die yearly ... Children in Lebanon are still dying from diseases such as Diarrhea, Pneumonia, and others ... Out of 100,000 pregnant women, 23 die while giving birth ... 2/3 lands in Lebanon are prone to desertification...


  1. Why didn't you post your photo? I want to see it! Better luck next time Nour, I'm sure your photo was amazing. :D

  2. oh I linked it, it's here:

    Thanks Danielle! :-)