Sunday, February 12, 2012


SAMUEL ARANDA, NEW YORK TIMES - The World Press Photo of the Year 2011 was awarded to Samuel Aranda, a Spanish freelance photographer for the New York Times, for capturing a moment in Yemen that illustrated the stakes of the mass protests that rocked much of the Arab world since early last year. The image, taken Oct. 15th, shows a woman wearing a full-length burka cradling a wounded relative in her arms inside the shelter of a mosque in the city of Sana’a, Yemen , that was being used as field hospital after demonstrators protesting against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh clashed with government forces. "I think it's really important when you receive such an award to remember that all of this work is for the people we're documenting," Aranda told The British Journal of Photography. Though the image is from Yemen, it symbolizs movement by millions of disenfranchised citizens that swept much of the Middle East last year, leading to regime change in Egypt, Libya and Yemen despite violent crackdowns.

Breaking traditional and cultural taboos, women were often leading the charge in dangerous protests that successfully ousted Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s decades-long hold on power. Saleh is currently in New York under diplomatic immunity while receiving medical treatment, the Associated Press reports. Other World Press Photo 2012 award winners among the nine categories include images of Occupy Wall St., Egypt’s Tahrir Square protests, Japan’s devastating Earthquake and Tsunami , and poaching of endangered rhino horns. 
"The winning photo shows a poignant, compassionate moment, the human consequence of an enormous event, an event that is still going on," said chairman Aidan Sullivan. "We might never know who this woman is, cradling an injured relative, but together they become a living image of the courage of ordinary people that helped create an important chapter in the history of the Middle East." 

Spanish photographer Samuel Aranda has won the 2011 World Press Photo of the Year award for an image of a veiled woman wearing rubber gloves as she clasps her relative, a thin man whose torso is bare, grimacing in pain after a demonstration in Yemen. Jurors said today that Mr Aranda's photo, taken for the New York Times, encapsulated many of the facets of the uprisings across the Middle East. The world needs more compassionate attitudes and Vaishnavas’ feelings, who are “para dukha dukhī” and suffer when they see the sufferings of others.

The Bhagavad Gita teaches us to balance our lives; to understand that we are eternal spirit souls while honoring material nature and cultivating feelings of compassion for the body, mind and soul of ourselves and others. A genuine spiritualist accepts the suffering of others as his or her own and finds joy in other people’s happiness. A genuine spiritualist feels compassion for all living beings-humans as well as animals and other species- because he realizes that everyone is a sacred part of God, who is the father and mother of all living entities. Thus a spiritualist extends love and compassion to all, without egoistic, selfish conditions. … We should all try to do our part however little or big it may be. A compassionate heart also extends to those apparently fortunate people with wealth, health and success, who forgetful of their eternal nature are being consumed by time, on the road to death.

Śrīla Radhanath Swami Mahārāja :
“Nature - Love It Or Fear It?”  -

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