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Entries in World Press Photo Award (1)

Friday
Feb112011

Portrait of Mutilated Afghan Woman Wins World Press Photo Award

Ayesha seen here in before and after file photos was the subject of photojournalist Jodie Bieber's award-winning photo (not shown). Photo Courtesy - ABC News (KABUL, Afghanistan) -- A photo of the mutilated face of Ayesha, an Afghan woman whose nose and ears were cut off by members of the Taliban, has been awarded a top photography prize, the World Press Photo award for 2010.

The portrait by South African photojournalist Jodi Bieber was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in August 2010, with Ayesha's piercing eyes staring directly into the camera over a hole in her face where her nose was removed. The cover set off wide debate over whether the image was too graphic for a mainstream magazine -- or too powerful to hide.

Bieber will receive a cash prize of 10,000 euros (about $13,500) for her work, which beat out over 100,000 images from nearly 6,000 photographers around the world.

The story of Ayesha has drawn global attention to the the plight of Afghan women. The 18-year-old woman, once known simply as "Bibi," was brutalized by her own husband, a member of the Taliban.

Ayesha was married when she was just 12 years old. She endured years of abuse. At times she was forced to sleep in the stables with animals. After she tried to run away, she was caught, and the village men handed down their sentence. Ayesha's husband sliced off her nose and ears while his brother held her down.

Left for dead, she managed to crawl to her uncle's house, but he refused to help her. Ayesha kept on until a relative finally took her to a hospital run by an American military medical team. The hospital cared for her for more than two months, ensured her safety, and gave her something she had not received before -- kindness.

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