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The 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography: Screaming Girl

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hubag bohol

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Photo credit: Massoud Hossaini via The Pulitzer Prizes

Afghanistan-born photographer Massoud Hossaini won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography. His photograph was that of 12-year-old Afghan girl Tarana Akbari, who was screaming just after a suicide explosion which killed more than 70 people, including seven members of her family. Her family along with several others had gone to Kabul to observe the Ashura festival, one of the holiest days observed by Shia Muslims. The festival is meant to commemorate the A.D. 680 murder of Imam Ali, a grandson of the prophet Muhammad.

The worshippers had crowded at the Abul Fazl shrine to celebrate when a lone suicide bomber detonated explosives in his backpack. Massoud was at the scene when the bomb went off and had even been injured in the explosion, which was even condemned by the Taliban. Massoud had taken photographs at the yearly Ashura festival for 10 years and had not been expecting anything unusual. What makes Massoud’s photograph stand out is that, unlike other photographs that were usually taken well after the main event had occurred, this one was taken immediately after; Massoud was there, after all. --

...than to speak out and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln


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