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Focusing on the spirit of Ramadan

Whether it is mosques with their air of serenity, or bazaars abuzz with energy, the ‘Capture the Spirit of Ramadan’ International Photography Competition 2012 will showcase the essence of the Holy Month with images from around the world

  • Alaa Ahmad Esmail
    Alaa Ahmad Esmail submitted this picture of a child reading the Quran before iftar at Sultan Hassan Mosque in Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Alaa Ahmad Esmail
    “I wanted to depict how forgiveness is an integral part of Ramadan and this picture that I took at Masjid MuhaImage Credit: Supplied picture
  • Alaa Ahmad Esmail
    Madhu Reddy captures the last Friday prayers before Eid, called Bade Namaz (the big prayer). This is held at tImage Credit: Supplied picture
  • Alaa Ahmad Esmail
    Hakim, four, a student at an Islamic boarding school in a village called Bogor in West Java, Indonesia, reads Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Alaa Ahmad Esmail
    Tathagata Sarkar took this picture on the streets of Paris. “I believe this photo projects the love between maImage Credit: Supplied picture
  • Alaa Ahmad Esmail
    Basel Almisshal and Lina Ali realised that photography was a way to show the beauty ofRamadan and bring peopImage Credit: Supplied picture

Remembering his first experience with Ramadan in Muscat, Oman, in 2008, British architect and photographer Basel Almisshal, says, “The sights were overwhelming with massive communal iftars set up in public places by charitable organisations, very alive and bustling 4am prayers and Ramadan hospitality tents serving stylish feasts.”

Basel wanted to open up the world to the beauty of Ramadan. “So we thought, why not let the world in on these colourful details through beautiful photography?” says Lina Ali, senior director of marketing at StudioBasel.

Basel and Lina decided to launch a competition to showcase images of Ramadan from around the world. “It is an attempt to educate and enlighten people and to eradicate misconceptions and misunderstandings about the Muslim faith through the art of photography.”


  • The First Prize winner will be awarded $2,000 (Dh7,345.00), while the Second Prize winner will be awarded $1,000 (Dh3,672.50). The Third Prize winner will receive $500 (Dh1,836.25)
  • The top 100 photographs will be displayed on the contest website, until Ramadan 2013.
  • There will be three Viewers’ Choice winners as well as two honourable mentions. The Viewer’s Choice winners will be those whose photos receive the most “Likes” on the Facebook page,, and each will be awarded $200 (Dh734.50)

What you need to know

  • The competition began on the first day of Ramadan, and ends on the last day of Ramadan.
  • Each person can upload up to three images per day, which will be uploaded on Facebook.
  • Winners of the competition will be chosen on or around October 1, 2012, and will be notified via Facebook and email. In the event that a winner does not claim his or her prize within ten days of the notification, the prize will be forfeited.

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