CMES awarded a first prize and three honorable mentions in the 2016–17 Harvard College International Photo Contest for photos taken in the Middle East region. All photos were from students’ internships, language study, and travel in the summer of 2016. This year’s first prize went to Kami Choi (’17), a senior at the college pursuing a joint concentration in Government and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Choi interned at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency headquarters in Amman, Jordan while conducting research for her senior thesis on refugee rights and access to healthcare when she took this winning photo of an artist juxtaposed with the cars of a busy street.
Honorable mentions were awarded to Alice Hu (’18), also a joint concentrator in Government and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations during her time in Amman studying Arabic as a recipient of the US Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship, whose photo of the Amman city scene contrasts the public mural, flag, people, buildings, and cars. Laila Gharzai (’18), a pre-med junior concentrating in Government, took this photo of a man and his decorated horse in Istalif, Afghanistan, while visiting her home in Kabul and interning at the Afghan Forensic Science Organization, a group that advocates for an end to the practice of virginity testing. Charlie Gibson (’18), a History and Literature concentrator, traveled to Jordan independently after traveling with a Birthright Israel group, seeking the Palestinian perspective in a country that has the largest Palestinian refugee population and to explore the British Arabian campaign during World War I. Gibson's photo is of his Bedouin guide in the desert of Wadi Rum.