A decade in photos: Images from the Middle East that moved the world

A decade in photos: Images from the Middle East that moved the world
The New Arab puts together some of the most iconic photographs emerging from the region between 2010 and 2019. Some images may be distressing.
5 min read
25 December, 2019
The New Arab has put together 20 of the most iconic from the region
In a decade that will be long remembered in history, the Middle East underwent seismic changes between 2010 and 2019.

From the dreams of the Arab spring to the horrors of the Arab winter; from the rise of civil society movements to the emergence of new extremist groups and even more brutal dictators, events of the past decade have forevermore changed politics and society of the region.

With pictures painting a thousand words and capturing tens of thousands of emotions, The New Arab has put together 20 of the most iconic and symbolic photographs emerging from the region in the last decade.

1. The lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi
Three-year-old Aylan Kurdi's body was swept up on the shores of Bodrum, southern Turkey, on September 2, 2015, after a boat carrying refugees sank trying to reach the Greek island of Kos [Nilufer Demir/AFP].
2. Little girl opens the world's eyes to Yemen

Bouthaina al-Rimi's home in Sanaa Yemen was bombarded by Saudi-led coalition on August 25, 2017. The blast killed her parents and six siblings. Following her rescue, she was pictured using her hand to open one of her swollen and bruised eyes to see what was happening around her [Karem Alzerii/AFP].

3. Shocked Syrian boy in an ambulance

Five-year-old wounded Syrian boy Omran Daqneesh sat alone in the back of the ambulance after he was injured during Russian or Assad regime forces air strike targeting the Qaterji neighbourhood of Aleppo on August 17, 2016 [Mahmud Rslan/Anadolu].

4. Emaciated Yemeni girl lying silently on a hospital bed
Amal Hussain, a seven-year-old girl whose image in the New York Times brought new attention to the suffering of thousands of children by Yemen's devastating war, died in November 2018 [Tyler Hicks/Redux].
5. Syrian refugee kisses daughter as he walks through a rain storm

A Syrian refugee kissed his daughter as he walked through a rainstorm towards Greece's border with Macedonia on September 10, 2015 [Yannis Behrakis/Reuters].

6. Tears of relief

Syrian refugee Laith Majid broke down in tears while cradling his son and daughter after arriving on a beach in Kos, Greece on August 16, 2015 following a perilous journey by boat [Daniel Etter/Eyevine].

7. Icon of Palestinian resistance

Beaten and blindfolded, 16-year-old Palestinian Fawzi al-Juneidi was photographed surrounded by more than 20 Israeli troops, who arrested him for "throwing stones" on December 7, 2017 in the occupied West Bank [Wisam Hashlamoun/APA images].

8. Old Syrian man with a pipe and his vinyl player

Mohammed Mohiedin Anis, or Abu Omar, 70, smokes his pipe as he sits in his destroyed bedroom listening to music on his vinyl player in Aleppo's formerly rebel-held al-Shaar neighbourhood in March, 2017 [Joseph Eid/AFP].

9. Syrian baby pulled out of the rubble after being buried alive

A screen shot from a video posted on YouTube by Syrian activists showed toddler Ghina Bassam, who was buried alive under rubble in Aleppo, being pulled out by rescuers who dug frantically after hearing her cries in January 2014 [Nour Media Centre/Youtube].

10. Syria man runs from falling building
A Syrian man runs from a falling building in Raqqa in April, 2018 [Lorenzo Meloni/Magnum Photos].
11. Two Syrian boys grieving 

A screen shot from a video of two dust-covered, grieving boys sitting on a dilapidated hospital bed after surviving an August 2016 barrel bomb attack [Aleppo Media Centre/YouTube].

12. The Syrian girl with the Twitter account

With the help of her mother, seven-year-old Bana al-Abed began posting heartrending tweets in English on life in the besieged eastern districts of Syria's Aleppo on October 10, 2016 [Thaer Mohammed/AFP].

13. Tahrir Square uprising

Egyptian anti-government protesters gather at Cairo's Tahrir Square on February 6, 2011 calling for the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak [Khaled Desouki/AFP].

14. Erdogan on Facetime

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke on CNNTurk via a Facetime call in the early morning hours of July 16, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey, following an attempted overthrow of his government [Burak Kara/Getty].

15. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi speaks in Mosul mosque

A screen shot taken from a propaganda video released by Islamic State group's media channel al-Furqan showing former leader of the jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, addressing a crowd in al-Nuri mosque in the group's former stronghold Iraqi city of Mosul on July 4, 2014 [AFP].

16. Fall of Islamic State

Iraqi forces raise the victory gesture and hold upside-down the black flag of the IS group outside the destroyed Al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City of Mosul, after the area was retaken from IS on June 30, 2017 [Fadel Senna/AFP].

17. Russian ambassador shot in Turkey

Russia's ambassador to Ankara Andrei Karlov lies dead on the floor after being shot by Mevlut Mert Altintas during an attack at a public event in Ankara on December 19, 2016 [Yavuz Alatan/AFP].

18. The glowing orb

US President Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi put their hands on an illuminated globe during the inauguration ceremony of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 21, 2017 [Bandar Algaloud/Anadolu].

19. Bath time amid rubbles in Gaza

Salem Saoody photographed making bath time fun for his daughter Layan and niece Shaymaa after their Gaza home was razed to the ground by Israeli forces in 2015 [Emad S Nassar/Instagram].

20. The icon of Sudan's revolution

Dubbed the "Nubian queen", a young woman swaddled in white, standing on top of a car with her hand aloft and a finger raised in rebuke as she addressed protesters in a Khartoum demonstration in April 2019 [Lana H. Haron/Twitter].

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