Palestinian Journalist Samar Abu Elouf Wins IWMF 2024 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award

Winning portfolio captured in Gaza during October and November 2023

[April 4, 2024 – WASHINGTON, DC] – The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) today announced freelance photojournalist Samar Abu Elouf as the 10th annual recipient of its Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award. The global recognition honors women photojournalists who document humanity amid conflict as well as the challenges facing marginalized populations worldwide. This year’s award is being issued on April 4, 2024, the 10th anniversary of German photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus’s passing; Niedringhaus was killed while on assignment in Afghanistan with the Associated Press.

Abu Elouf’s winning portfolio – and the bulk of her photojournalism – features reporting on war and its effect on women and children. Previously based in Gaza City, Abu Elouf puts herself at the center of danger to chronicle how conflict, loss, and need affect people in her own community. Late last year, Abu Elouf was forced to evacuate her home after it was partially destroyed. Her winning portfolio, ‘Gaza Under Attack,’ includes a series of 12 images commissioned by and featured in The New York Times.

“There are no more extreme conditions than what Samar endured to bring us these images from Gaza – a warzone that marks the deadliest period for journalists in modern history,” said Elisa Lees Muñoz, Executive Director of the IWMF. “Samar was separated from her children, her relatives were killed, and she slept in cars and on floors to keep reporting. Battling a lung infection and surviving on one meal a day, all to bring us the truth, Samar is the epitome of dedication, professionalism and courage.”

“I am honored to receive this award, to be recognized for my work in Gaza, and to follow in the footsteps of Anja’s courage,” said Abu Elouf. “Still, it is hard to celebrate given the ongoing tragedy in my homeland. My work as a photojournalist taught me to respect the humanity of all people with fortitude and patience. The camera has made me a strong woman, and I will continue working and taking photos until my last breath.”

Two additional photojournalists received honorable mentions this year for their extraordinary visual portfolios: British Swedish photojournalist Anastasia Taylor-Lind and Egyptian Canadian photojournalist Nariman El Mofty. Taylor-Lind’s portfolio includes imagery from her ongoing, long-term project ‘5K from the Frontline,’ and unveils an intimate, extended narrative of courage during wartime in Donbas, Ukraine, made over the past six years. El Mofty’s portfolio, which includes imagery from Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Ukraine, and Yemen, moves from timely spotlights to immersive storytelling, and focuses on people who require deeply gained trust.

This year’s jury included renowned industry editors and photojournalists Corinne Dufka, Whitney Johnson, Brent Lewis, Enric Marti, Benny Snyder, Sandra M. Stevenson, and Bernadette Tuazon, who reviewed 97 qualifying portfolios from 37 countries. Following selection, the jury issued the following statement:

“This year’s winner and honorees beautifully captured the spirit of Anja’s work: They are on the frontlines of conflict, yet they are evoking a lyrical quality of humanity that causes us to pause and consider. The portfolios from Samar, Anastasia, and Nariman take months – even years – to report, which requires determination and trust, and shows how deeply invested these women are in their work. We applaud these remarkable, tenacious photojournalists for helping us to better understand today’s world.”

“Everywhere you look there is something happening that requires Anja’s eye,” followed Lees Muñoz. “Anja encouraged journalists to turn the camera, and to document the way conflict and change affect those who do not receive the spotlight. The IWMF is honored to recognize Samar, Anastasia, and Nariman this year, and add their names to Anja’s legacy of compassion, empathy and humanity in journalism.”

Anja Niedringhaus was a recipient of the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award in 2005. The winner’s $20,000 prize is made possible by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. Honorees’ images and captions, biographies, and headshots are available for media use with proper attribution; to inquire further, please contact Charlotte Fox (

Courage in Photojournalism Award Winner

 This year’s winner, Samar Abu Elouf, is a Palestinian freelance photojournalist who recently evacuated Gaza City.

An award-winning journalist, Abu Elouf covers events where she lives, including stories about gender, women’s and children’s lives, and the consequences of war. Since 2010, she has worked as a freelance photojournalist on assignment for Reuters, The New York Times, and other news outlets.

Abu Elouf documented the 2018–2019 Gaza border protests, also known as the Great March of Return. She also worked with ZUMA Press to cover stories related to the COVID-19 pandemic for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and news agencies. In May 2021, on assignment for The New York Times, she covered the 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas that destroyed essential infrastructure and killed more than 230 people, including several of her own relatives.

Most recently, Samar covered the 2023 Israeli bombardment of Gaza in the aftermath of Hamas’ October 7th attacks for The New York Times. Her images, both intimate and shocking, convey both the anguish and dignity of her subjects.

Instagram: @samarabuelouf

Courage in Photojournalism Honorees

Anastasia Taylor-Lind is a British Swedish photojournalist with a 20-year career working for the world’s leading magazines on long-form stories relating to women, war, and environment. In 2023, Taylor-Lind received the Canon Female Photojournalist Award for her project ‘5k from the Frontline,’ and became a National Geographic Society Explorer in support of this ongoing reporting in Ukraine.

For the past decade, Taylor-Lind has collaborated with Alisa Sopova, a journalist and anthropologist from Donetsk, Ukraine. Their work has been published in TIME Magazine, The New York Times, and NPR, among other outlets. In 2023, more than 100,000 visitors experienced Taylor-Lind and Sopova’s exhibition, ‘Ukraine; Photographs from the Frontline,’ at the Imperial War Museum in the United Kingdom. An exhibition of their work also recently debuted at Harvard University’s Davis Center.

Taylor-Lind is a 2014 TED fellow, a 2016 Nieman fellow at Harvard University, and a 2017 non-fiction writing fellow at The Carey Institute for Global Good. Her first photographic monograph, ‘Maidan – Portraits from the Black Square,’ about the 2014 revolution in Ukraine, was published the same year by GOST books. Taylor-Lind’s debut poetry collection, ‘One Language,’ was published by Smith|Doorstep in 2022.

Taylor-Lind is also a Visiting Professor of Photography at the University of Suffolk.

X / Twitter: @anastasiatl, Instagram: @anastasiatl

After years photo editing and photographing for the Associated Press (AP) Middle East photo desk, Nariman El Mofty – an honoree this year – is now working as a freelance photojournalist.

In 2019, El Mofty received the Overseas Press Club’s Olivier Rebbot Award for her Yemen photo reportage, ‘Yemen on the Edge’. That same year, she received a citation of excellence within the OPC’s Hal Boyle Award – together with Maggie Michael and Maad al-Zikry from the AP – recognizing, ‘Yemen’s Dirty Way.’ In 2020, El Mofty received OPC’s Hal Boyle Award for ‘Outsourcing Migrants’ as a member of the AP reporting team recognized for the best newspaper, news service or digital reporting from abroad.

In addition, El Mofty was awarded two Robert Capa citations: the first, in 2019, for ‘Disembarking in Hell,’ which chronicled the perilous journey of Ethiopian migrants, and the second, in 2020, for reporting on Tigray refugees at the Sudanese-Ethiopian border. The latter work was also exhibited in the International Festival of Photojournalism 2021, ‘Visa pour l’image,’ in Perpignan.

Most recently El-Mofty was a member of the AP team covering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for its visual coverage of the horrors of the Russia-Ukraine war since the start of the war in February 2022.

X / Twitter: @NMofty, Instagram: @narimanelmofty


About the International Women’s Media Foundation

The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is the only global organization built to serve the holistic needs of women and nonbinary journalists. We are a bold and inclusive organization that supports journalists where they are with awards, reporting opportunities, fellowships, grants, safety training and emergency aid. As one of the largest supporters of women-produced journalism, our transformative work strengthens equal opportunity and press freedom worldwide. Follow the IWMF on X/Twitter at @IWMF, on Facebook at @IWMFPage, on Instagram on @TheIWMF and on TikTok @theiwmf.