03 The Robert Capa Gold Medal Award 2023

Best photographic reporting from abroad requiring exceptional courage and enterprise published in any medium

AWARD NAME: The Robert Capa Gold Medal Award 2023
RECIPIENT: Samar Abu Elouf
AFFILIATION: The New York Times

Despite losing loved ones and being separated from her children, Samar’s commitment to bearing witness helped inform the world of the nightmare that became life – and death – in Gaza. There is a moment Samar captured, on October 8, that feels particularly haunting now, foreshadowing as it does the devastation about to befall a population whose median age is only 18. Children gaze into the sky in horror just before death begins raining down, one boy carrying his younger sister as others try to flee despite being trapped in a place where no one is guaranteed safety. Like that photo, all of Samar’s images convey how grief and struggle have become synonymous with the plight of the Palestinians.


Khaled Joudeh, a 9-year-old boy, searches for his slain mother, brother and sister — three of the 68 members of his extended family who had been killed. Photo: Samar Abu Elouf

In a schoolyard, a boy carries his younger sister as children gaze skyward, as Israeli jets fly overhead. Photo: Samar Abu Elouf

Smoke and dust rise from a Gaza City housing bloc demolished by an Israeli air strike on Oct. 8. Local men hunt for survivors. Photo: Samar Abu Elouf

On Oct. 12, 2023, rescuers brought wounded children for treatment at the Shifa hospital, a major health center sitting atop an underground tunnel that Israel claimed harbored a Hamas military command center. Phtoto: Samar Abu Elouf

On Oct. 12, a young mother at the Shifa hospital stands stunned, with an infant against her chest. Photo: Samar Abu Elouf

By Oct. 24, the overburdened Gazan health system was in a dire state. Medics treat a patient on the hospital floor, after failing to find him a bed. Before the war, the hospital used to treat a maximum of 700 patients a day. Now, there were more than 2,000 inside. Photo: Samar Abu Elouf

On Oct. 9, the sound of new strikes tore through the air outside the Shifa hospital in Gaza City. Two young girls sprint for shelter. Photo: Samar Abu Elouf

In Deir Al Balah, a woman mourns the loss of her brothers and sisters who were killed in Israeli strikes. When she found her pregnant sister, she spoke to her, saying: “You were scared of giving birth and now you are rested before you had to go through it.” Photo: Samar Abu Elouf

In mid-November the world’s attention focused on the neonatal ward of Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital, where nearly 40 premature babies were threatened by the conflict in and around the facility. The babies were ultimately evacuated to Egypt, though several died. Photo: Samar Abu Elouf

An injured boy sits in the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City as the facility fills with people wounded by strikes on the nearby Shati neighborhood. Photo: Samar Abu Elouf

Two girls survey damage in their family home on Oct. 7. Hours earlier, one of the first Israeli airstrikes had flattened the building next door, shattering windows in adjacent structures. Photo: Samar Abu Elouf

Members of the Al-Majaida family carry a child during a funeral on Oct. 19 in Khan Younis, southern Gaza. Photo: Samar Abu Elouf


Citation for Excellence:
Evgeniy Maloletka
The Associated Press
“War in Ukraine Rages On”