The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.


The UNICEF Photo of the Year has been announced, and I couldn't possibly think of something more appropriate. Recall that the agency has tasked itself with—and is held responsible for—the well-being of children around the world. Check out how UNICEF decides to illustrate this calling:

U.S. freelance photographer Stephanie Sinclair poses with her winning photo of the 'UNICEF Photo of the Year 2007' competition in Berlin, Germany, on Monday, Dec. 17, 2007. The photograph shot by U.S. freelance photographer Stephanie Sinclair shows a wedding couple in Afghanistan who could not be more opposite. The groom, Mohammed, looks much older than his 40 years. The bride, Ghulam, is still a child; she just turned 11. Stephanie Sinclair works as a freelance photographer based in Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

What better way to care for the well-being of children than by celebrating the forced marriage of an 11-year-old girl to a man over 30 years her senior, right?

Good thing the United Untied Nations still has its priorities in order.

Update: Heh, okay—so it's only appropriate that I can take a bit of schadenfreude myself, considering how much I dish out.

When I originally posted this article, the UNICEF press release covering this award didn't seem to be online yet, so I was only able to go by the Associated Press' somewhat blasé caption. Upon reading the actual press release (I linked it down in the comments thread), I do have to admit:—UNICEF is not at fault here. They really are trying to illustrate a problem that affects children.

So, with all that being said, I do apologize for the hasty conclusion, and hope that y'all can forgive the mistake. I'm still unhappy with the AP's description of the photograph, but hey, I really can't blame that on UNICEF for a change. Thanks to those of you who challenged me on this—I look forward to seeing y'all again the next time I bring up problems with the UN. And to those of you who are on the same side of "The UN Question" that I am, keep your eyes peeled. The organisation has plenty of dirt to go around.

Alas, it looks like this one's aimed at me for a change. Nuts:

Ha ha!

  #Untied Nations


#1 Anonymous 17-Dec-2007
Celebrating, who's celebrating?
#2 Brian C. Ledbetter 17-Dec-2007

It would seem that the Associated Press is, for one. "Shows a wedding couple that could not be more opposite?" The AP speaks of these people as if this is a [i]normal, everyday wedding[/i], does it not?

The official storyline. "Raise awareness?" It doesn't seem to have affected the AP's coverage one bit, does it?

#3 Yiddish Steel 18-Dec-2007
It sickens me that the school that my daughters attend continues to make useful tools out of the students to shill for money for UNICEF. The sad thing is that most of the parents continue to remain oblivious and ambivolant about how shamelessly corrupt UNICEF has been.
#4 Nuclear Cop 18-Dec-2007
Hang on, you make a whole post deriding the UN based on an AP caption of a photo to illustrate that the UN^H^H AP doesn't care about child exploitation? What a load of disingenuous bullshit. A UN agency rewards a piece of journalism that brings to light human rights abuses against children in a Muslim society and you accuse them of "celebrating" it? Man it must sting when an organization you hate does more to promote a cause you believe in than you ever could.
#5 Mike Jefferson 18-Dec-2007
Classic. The United Nations is nothing more than a holding tank full of criminals who are busy stuffing their pants with $ the way Sandy Berger stuffed his with documents. The corruption is only eclipsed by their insanity.

I'm sure they will rationalize this latest snafu with some moronic statement to the effect of "blah, blah, blah, cultural traditions, blah, blah, blah."
#6 Dad 18-Dec-2007
Nobody said anything when Bill Clinton did something close to the same thing.
#7 Harry 18-Dec-2007
Nuclear Cop,

Perhaps you are aware of specific things that UNICEF has done to combat the forced marriage of children. Please share specific information with us. I personally haven't seen jack from them.
#8 davod 18-Dec-2007
The photo could be implying that the girl is being looked after in a harsh world.

Highlighting UNICEF success might have been less confusing.
#9 antishock8 18-Dec-2007

I don't see UNICEF celebrating this kind of child abuse. It's HIGHLIGHTING it by MAKING THE PHOTO ITS PHOTO OF THE YEAR!!!! UNICEF is an excellent organization, so much so that FC Barcelona, instead of reaping tens of millions of dollars in jersey advertising revenue by selling the space to some corporation instead promotes UNICEF in that space. Jesus. What's wrong with you?

Anyway. Mission accomplished. You put their Photo of the Year on your webpage, and I'm seeing the ugly reality of Islam. Once again. I wish people would wake up to the Islamic nightmare...
#10 Good for UNICEF 18-Dec-2007
UNICEF appears to be on the right side of this one ...

“The UNICEF Photo of the Year 2007 raises awareness about a worldwide problem. Millions of girls are married while they are still under age. Most of theses child brides are forever denied a self-determined life”, says UNICEF Patroness Eva Luise Köhler

“What are you feeling today?” Stephanie Sinclair asked Ghulam on her engagement. “Nothing,” the bewildered girl answered. “I do not know this man. What am I supposed to feel?”
#11 deadbackpacker 18-Dec-2007
While the intent may have to expose child brides and their abuse. this is nothing more than a marriage brochure for the lonley heart's club of Pakistan.The UN is a farce, and they waste way more money then they spend on poor children. With all the money collected over the years, why are there still hungry kids out there? Where did that money go to? Kofi Anan and his family?
#12 scrat 18-Dec-2007
I just read the story at the UNICEF site, and it does appear that they're on the right side of this -- contrary to my initial reaction.
But my favorite part is how they've redacted the groom's name to "Mohammed F." (to protect the guilty?) and then in the very next sentence start referring to him by his last name "Faiz."
#13 Urban Infidel 18-Dec-2007
It's the smirk on the photographer's face that ruins it for me.
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