Night has fallen in Idomeni. A night between further days spent in a state of waiting in uncertainty.

More than 12,000 refugees, mostly from Syria and mostly children and adolescents, are stranded here near the Greek-Macedonian border. Stopped on their way to Germany, the promised land. Volunteers have improvised an open-air cinema to entertain the children with movies. To allow them to escape from the camp’s drab reality and to let their thoughts fly free.

Photographer Ali Nouraldin, born in 1985 in Gaza, currently residing in Cologne and working for various international media, captured this moment of enchantment during a lengthy stay in Idomeni. What he found most touching were the anxious but also hopeful questions the refugees asked him.

A little refugee child, for example, once took him by the hand and listened intently to his description of schools in Germany. Or people lining up for hours to get a map which they could study to find a way north. Full of streets they weren’t allowed to pass. Nouraldin took pictures of children in tents, waiting in line, behind fences and amid puddles in a mud-soaked camp – and this one magical moment: the fascination of being able to forget reality – at least until the closing credits – reflected in their faces.

Curriculum Vitae: Ali Nouraldin (laif)

UNICEF Foto des Jahres: Ali Nouraldin

© Ali Nouraldin (laif)

Date of Birth: 10 August 1985
Place of Birth: Gaza Strip Nationality
Currently living in Cologne, Germany

Profile Internationally: covering news events in conflict areas in Gaza Strip, Libya, Egypt , Yemen , Iraq, Syria , Tunisia and elsewhere.

Education 2007: Journalism at the "Al-Azhar University" in Gaza (Bachelor)

Work experience: 

2003- 2014: Photographer, European Pressphoto Agency „epa“
2010: MENA World Press Photo Work Experience

2011: Winner / Emirats Arab Award
2013: Winner / Frontline Club Awards
2013: Wire Photographer Spotlight / TIME Magazine
2013: Discovering the Next Generation of Photojournalists at World Press Photo’s Masterclass
2013: Joop Swart Masterclass
2014: Winner / DAYS JAPAN Award
PDN's 30: New and Emerging Photographers to Watch

Publishers: New York Times, The Guardian, Time Magazine, Los Angeles Times, News Week, Washington Post

Languages: Arabic (mother tongue)/ English (fluently)/ Hebrew (fluently)/ German (A1)

Jens- Uwe Thomas: Reporter ohne Grenzen e.V.
Peter Bitzer: Geschäftsführer bei laif Agentur für Photos & Reportagen GmbH


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