Afghanistan’s past: Soviet invasion in 1978, outbreak of the civil war. Consequence: refugees. Withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989, mujahideen take Kabul. Outbreak of yet another civil war. Consequence: refugees. Overthrow of the Taliban regime after 9/11 by an alliance lead by the US. Bloody internal struggles. Consequence: refugees. Afghanistan’s future: despite uncertain circumstances, approx. 4 million refugees have returned from Pakistan and Iran and now are trying to settle down again in their home country.

Among these refugees was the family of 8-year-old Akram. They looked for shelter in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. Even as a small boy, Akram tried to make some money by collecting scrap on a garbage dump in Peshawar. While rummaging through the garbage, he once accidentally touched a non-insulated cable. Both his hands and arms had to be amputated because of severe burns. In the meantime, Akram’s family has returned to Kabul where he received arm prostheses thanks to the help of the International Red Cross. Looking at the pictures taken by Iranian photographer Majid Saeedi, we are astonished by the natural way the children treat each other and their compassion for each other. Majid Saeedi has also captured the playful ease shown by healthy children when handling these ‘spare body parts’. The horrible realization of being severely disabled for one’s whole life, however, only sets in when people get older. And this realization is cruel because it’s final.

Curriculum Vitae: Majid Saeedi

Portrait: Majid Saeedi

© Majid Aseedi



Born 1974 in Tehran, Iran.
Education: Art


Work Experience:


Head of photo department for nine newspapers in Iran since 1998 in different periods

Photographer of Getty Images since 2004

Photographer of Time Magazine in Afghanistan till now

In 2001 Founder of Photo News Agency head of photo department in 2004


  • "Best Photographer of The Year" in Iran
    in 1992/1994/1996/1997/1999/2000/2001
  • International Art Festival 2005 Second Prize
  • 4 Gold Medals from Asahi Japan
    in 2000/2005/2006/2008
  • First Prize of International Photo Awards (POY):
    USA 2005, USA 2007, USA 2010


More information on the competition and the UNICEF-Photo of the Year 2010 reportages.

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Renowned photographers from all over the world take part in the contest. An independent jury decides upon the winner.

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