The Asaad Adel Serhal Wildlife Photography Prize concludes by honoring the winners
On Sunday, August 1, the Middle East Sustainable Hunting Center – MESHC – celebrated the conclusion of the Assaad Adel Serhal Wildlife Photography Prize – AASWPP, which was launched in cooperation with local and international partners, as an alternative activity for responsible hunters outside the hunting season.
The Center honored the winners and all participants for their efforts in establishing the concepts of responsible hunting and of protecting nature, in the presence of more than 60 people from different Lebanese regions, including SPNL President Mrs. Afaf Saidi, and artistic participation from the poet Maroun Mahouli and the musician Marcel Nasr.
Speaking at the ceremony, SPNL general director Asaad Serhal pointed out the importance of teamwork in achieving goals and thanked the participating hunters and the MESHC for the tremendous effort of holding a ceremony related to the protection of birds amidst some of the most difficult circumstances that Lebanon has been through, stressing that hope will remain as long as there are people who dream.
Adonis Al-Khatib, who is head of MESHC and field coordinator for responsible hunting at SPNL, confirmed in his speech that the Center created this award and named it after Asaad Adel Serhal, who is a former hunter turned conservationist, something that has given great impetus to the idea, bearing fruit in this positive competition between the hunters that has reached more than 130,000 people on the prize’s Facebook page.
Khatib also thanked the hunters who proved instrumental in making the change, calling on poachers to follow their example in order to protect nature and safeguard the hobby of hunting.
In his speech, Saad Shaiban, founder of Dar Shaiban for culture and the arts, spoke about the connection between nature and the artsو and stressed the need to teach the new generation the arts, such as drawing and painting, for a refined upbringing. He pointed out that Dar Shaiban from today onwards has become a partner of SPNL and MESHC, and that in every exhibition it holds, there will be a free corner for pictures by hunters who take photos outside the hunting season.
The event began with a welcoming speech by the head of Hima farms at SPNL Andre Bechara, in which he pointed out the importance of this activity, and saw that it is a natural continuation of the Hima concept and the role of the local community, including hunters and others, in taking responsibility for the future of the environment, praising the experience of Hammana Municipality and the Hima of Hammana, which has become a safe corridor for migrating birds.
The competition, in which 13 hunters participated, the first prize, worth 800 dollars, was won by hunter Khalil Naim, the second prize, worth six hundred dollars, went to Jad Bou Raffoul, and the third prize, for 400 dollars, went to hunter Hadeel Hamieh.
– The MESHC presented all participants with certificates of thanks and appreciation and a valuable collection of books published by SPNL.
He handed over certificates to the participants and winners, along with Serhal, Khatib, Bou Raffoul, Bechara, and Fouad Itani.
The paintings of the hunter and poacher were shown to emphasize the differences in ethics between the two groups.
The names of the hunters who participated in the competition are: Khalil Naim, Gad Bou Raffoul, Hadeel Hamia, Rony Khoury, Mohamed Haimour, Tsolak Heraclian, Samer Halawani, Milad Khaled, Elie Karam, Rabea Salha, Andre Tabet, Shadi Saad, and Tony Bejani. There was also Dhafer Nakhlawi, who was a participant but could not continue due to his father’s illness and death.