Ammar Awad

Ammar Awad

Based
Jerusalem
Born
Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories
Status
Photographer
Camera
Canon 1D Mark IV, 5D Mark III
“Covering the Yemeni revolution is the assignment that left the biggest mark on me.”

Beat

I cover breaking news and features.

One Shot

. Ramallah, Israel. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat enters a helicopter as he leaves his compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
“This is the last image I took of Yasser Arafat prior to his death. I camped outside Arafat’s headquarters for two days and waited for the helicopter to arrive to take him to Amman. I managed to shoot only one frame. There were many photographers there but I was one of the happy few who managed to capture him whilst boarding.”

Profile

I learnt photography whilst I was at high school. I took a one-year class where I learnt the basic skills. After that, I went out and taught myself everything I know.

Covering the clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians near Ramallah in 2000 was my first assignment for Reuters. Israeli soldiers took over the house in a Palestinian village to use as a base, and scuffles ensued between the two sides. I felt I captured some strong images from that story.

In 2011, I was sent to Yemen for four months. Covering the Yemeni revolution is the assignment that left the biggest mark on me. Media presence was scarce and it was a challenge to cover. I had to be extremely careful, and felt that I had to be very discreet.

I have very vivid memories of the day Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh sent his soldiers to speak to the powerful Al-Ahmar family who opposed him. Whilst the soldiers were speaking to them, other pro-government soldiers came and fired at the Al-Ahmar house. They killed both their own men and the members of the Al- Ahmar family. The following morning I managed to access the village and as I entered I soon realised that I was the only photographer who had got inside. I shot the pictures I needed for the story and then captured some video footage for Reuters television since they didn't make it into the village either.

I am excited to cover breaking news and feature stories; they put me in situations that enable me to create powerful images. International news stories also drive me and they are essential to reaching a wider audience.