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UNICEF's Photo of the Year
The child bride of Mohammed.
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Celebrate Diversity! Photo by Stephanie Sinclair via

Have you seen this?

The image hardly fits our idea of the happy couple’s wedding picture – but this haunting photograph taken in Afghanistan graphically captures life for millions of girls given in marriage while under age. It shows Mohammed, 40, with his new 11-year-old wife, Ghulam. Taken by US photographer Stephanie Sinclair, it was named Unicef Photo of the Year yesterday.

Some 60million girls worldwide are married while still under age, according to the children’s rights agency.

Spiegel Online has more:

The United Nation’s Children’s Fund recognized a handful of photographers with honors in their annual Photo of the Year contest. From Afghanistan to the Phillipines, their work exposes horrid conditions facing some of the world’s children.

The image is startling — a 40-year-old groom sitting beside his 11-year-old future bride. Photographer Stephanie Sinclair, who took the photo last year in Afghanistan, asked the pre-teenage bride what she felt on the day of her engagement.

“Nothing,” said the girl, according to Sinclair. “I do not know this man. What am I supposed to feel?”

A commenter at the site writes:

This powerful photo shows something incredibly shameful and disgusting that reflects very poorly on the culture that allows it. If that old goat is such an altruist, he could adopt an 11 year old, not marry one. There is no excuse for not respecting the fact that an 11 year old is a child, not a repository for an old man’s lust. All cultures have things they do wrong, but this one is exceptionally wrong.

– Alexandra, USA

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Islam