Monday, November 13, 2006


Gaza Beach Photographer Wins Award (LGF)
The Rory Peck Award is given to freelance cameramen who work in war zones, and this year the “hard news” award has gone to Palestinian Zakaria Abu Harbid, who shot the infamous scenes of a mysterious bombing on a beach in Gaza—scenes that many believe were staged: Palestinian wins Rory Peck Award.

Here’s how the news agency for which Harbid works, Ramattan, reported the award:

Ramattan’s cameraman gains the world’s prize for the best TV pictures.
Gaza, Nov.11, 2006 (RNA) – Senior cameraman of Ramattan News Agency, Zakarya Abu Harbid, achieved a resounding victory by being crowned as the best News cameraman for the year 2006 after getting into an uphill competition with international cameramen.

Abu Harbid was rewarded the prize over his famous TV pictures which showed a carnage that Israel committed against a Palestinian family picnicking on a Gaza beach. The main sentimental part of his footage was the picture of Huda Ghalia – a 13-year-old girl who was the only family member to survive the Israeli shelling – while she was shrieking in full-throated grief and running over a gore-pattered beach.

Being on the standby to cover the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip in a war-like day in June, Abu Harbid was the first to reach the incident spot immediately, and therefore he succeeded in picking the real reaction in the heat of the moment.

“When I arrived at the beach, it looked totally different than any beach in the world. It was full of dead bodies instead of people enjoying their time. I saw Huda Ghalia running between her dead family till she arrived at her father’s body crying “Dad, Dad”. She looked at me and shouted loudly “film, film”. At this moment I recognized what a big humanistic message I was committed to deliver to the whole world with my small camera,” Abu Harbid said about the story of Huda Ghalia.

Commenting on the powerful images that were brought to TV screen all over the world by Abu Harbi’s camera, one of the judges in the Referees’ Panel said “this goes to the heart of what freelancers do. He got to the scene very quickly and he got the story. What he came across at the beach must have been very difficult emotionally. It would have been overwhelming but he carried on shooting and captured these incredibly powerful scenes.”

The worst for Abu Harbid, as it was common sense for any person to smile while being delivered a prize, was to force a smile on his face which was wrapped in a scowl mixed with sorrow over the wholesale killings which Israel carried out against his townspeople in Beit Hanoun, during the recent offensive. ...

Within the few coming days, Abu Harbid will deliver lectures of media in several international associations in London. He also will be taken to the airwaves by TV satellite channels interested in his success.

Dr Qassem Ali, head of Ramattan’s Board of Directors, congratulated Abu Harbid on
his achievement and whished him more success in his life.

Abu Harbid was injured three times over the Al-Aqsa uprising, the worst of which was a crippling wound he suffered in his arm, causing two of his lift hand fingers to
cease to move.

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