Khaled Abdullah

Khaled Abdullah

Sanaa, Yemen
Sanaa, Yemen
“My most important lesson – and one that I have learnt several times – is do not to go out without a camera.”


I usually cover politics and society.

One Shot

. Sanaa, Yemen. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
Defected army soldiers backing anti-government protesters in Yemen perform weekly Friday prayers during a rally demanding the trial of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
“This is one of my favourite images. It shows soldiers praying differently to the way that they, and other people, would do in a normal situation; the street was overcrowded by protesters, and they prayed on the bridge barrier where they were standing guard during a rally.”


When I was at high school, I loved taking photos of people on the streets of Sanaa with my film camera.

I learnt to photograph mainly from day-to-day experience and by reading photography handbooks and magazines.

My first assignment was the trial of some al Qaeda suspects in Sanaa back in 2004. I remember it was difficult for me and the other photographers to get access to the courtroom in the state security court. However, after we got in we were surprised that the defendants were keen to be photographed for one reason - some of them said they wanted their families to see their pictures in the media to know that they were still alive. They said their families hadn’t known anything about their whereabouts for several years, since they had been kept in custody by the intelligence services before being put on trial.

The 2011 uprising in Yemen was the longest and most dramatic assignment I have covered since I joined Reuters. I learnt a lot from it.

I get really excited when I shoot pictures in tribal areas. I like the customs and the gatherings of tribesmen with their traditional dress, daggers and weapons.

My most important lesson – and one that I have learnt several times – is do not to go out without a camera, either a professional one, or even a small compact model.

I respect my father. He has always backed me up and he is a source of inspiration to me.

Behind the Scenes

. Zinjibar, Yemen
Khaled Abdullah takes photos a few days after the Yemeni army retook the city of Zinjibar from militants linked to al Qaeda.