AMAN Competition results for year 2014-2015 :

AMAN Competition results for year 2012-2013 :


ANSA – 11.02.13 - Flash of lighting over St.Peter's Dome during a rainstorm,

 in the day of Pope's announced resignments, Vatican City.

 ANSA/ Alessandro di Meo


(click photo to enlarge)




WAFA - 11/20/2012- Bethlehem- Confrontations between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces near the barrier between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Tear gas rains down on the Palestinian protestors as they demonstrate in solidarity with the people of Gaza and in opposition of ‘Operation Pillar of Defense’, (in Hebrew literally: "Pillar of Cloud") an operation in the Gaza Strip, officially launched on 14 November 2012 after the assassination of Ahmed Jabari, chief of the Gaza military wing of Hamas.


WAFA / Ahmad Mazhar


(click photo to enlarge)




Death voyages to Italian coasts do not prevent from braving dangers



    and ANSA The distinction certificate :

Mideast: 'Shalom Gaza', Hebrew debuts at Hamas schools

After long ban. 'Necessary to understand Israelis'



AMAN Competition results for year 2011-2012 :

* Best Photo :

Winner :

LIBYAN ARAB JAMAHIRIYA, SIRTE, 10.10.11 -  Libya's new regime forces fire their weapons at fighters loyal to fugitive strongman Moamer Kadhafi as a comrade plays a guitar during a battle in Sirte on October 10, 2011, in a drive to control Kadhafi's hometown after a month-long siege.


LIBIA-ATAQUE: LIB04. AJDABIYA (LIBIA), 22.03.2011- A rebel soldier prays before the start of  a new attack against the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces at an unknown location in a desert near Ajdabiya, eastern Libya, 21 March 2011. 

EFE / Manu Brabo

 * Best News Item (Winner :CNA)





Written by Maria Antouna

Faneromeni High School: a nest of multiculturalism

Nicosia, Nov 25 (CNA) – One might be surprised to come across a hub of lively young children, from all over the world, right in the heart of this divided capital city, Nicosia, where damage and destruction is but a breath away, as buildings stand derelict and abandoned for the past few decades, in the UN-controlled buffer zone.

Yet, this is exactly where multiculturalism is thriving, thanks to pioneering educational programmes Faneromeni High School has adopted. The school lies in the old part of Nicosia, within the Venetian walls.

The historic grounds of Faneromeni church and the nearby high school are considered a landmark of the area. A visitor walking up the steps of the school cannot help but admire the building's neoclassical architectural form.

It is break time and pupils are running around the school corridors carefree. Their happy faces, full of life, reflect their innocence. Children from all nationalities speak Greek fluently. To hear them, one cannot tell whether they come from Cyprus or elsewhere.

How can anyone categorise children in different groups or nationalities? After all, they all have the same smile, the same innocence, exhuming an inner calm that reaches out to everybody’s soul. Here, all children are the same, they look to the future aiming to seize the day and live it to the full.

Two girls are chit-chatting with one another, laughing merrily.

''I speak Arabic at home because my parents cannot speak Greek. I am the one teaching them the language”, says fifteen year old Yiasmin Alkadi, who comes from Iraq. ''At least I try to do so'' she adds laughing. ''My mother does not work but my father works for the UN'', she says.

''I have fun at school. I wouldn't want to return to my country'', she notes, adding ''now I am a Cypriot, that's how I feel. This is the place I have been living in for the past seven years''.

Her friend Mela Konstantinou, of the same age, is from Romania. She says her father is a Romanian Serb and her mother Romanian.

''I wouldn't want to go to Romania. I want to stay in my beloved Cyprus'', Mela says, adding that ''I would like to become a Greek language teacher. I even like the idea of becoming an actress or a script writer''.


''Having fellow students from other countries has taught me from a young age not to be a racist'' Giorgos Athanasiou, a Greek Cypriot student says, adding that ''I am very lucky because I learn a great deal from my fellow students, they teach me about their countries and their languages''.

''I don't see them as different, they are just like us'', he points out.

''Our students come from countries with different cultures and customs'', says Evie Shakalli Argyridou, the headmistress of the school.

According to Argyridou most of the children are Greeks from Pontos, a region located near the Black Sea. Greek Cypriot students are few and usually come from mixed marriages. Non Greek speakers constitute about 20% of the school children and usually come from Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iran and China.
The old Nicosia centre has suffered as a direct result of the Turkish invasion of 1974, which split it in half, a buffer zone dividing the once thriving historic centre. Many Greek Cypriots who lived in the area chose to move further away. In recent years there has been a trend for immigrants to inhabit the area and make the old walled city of Nicosia their home. More often than not the families are poor and their standard of living is low.

The school is considered to be in an Educational Priority Zone and a Greek language teacher has been appointed to teach foreign students. Greek language teaching programmes, which are funded by the government and the EU, are provided in an effort to combat social exclusion and reduce the possibility of substandard school performance.

Argyridou also notes that the Ministry of Education offers students extra curriculum classes in the afternoon in Greek, mathematics, IT, foreign languages, journalism, physical education, theatre, music and art.

Despite facing adversity, the school continues to maintain high standards, Argyridou stresses.

The school cultivates human values such as democracy, freedom, social justice and moral values such as respect, understanding, solidarity, tolerance and love, she notes.

“We cultivate respect to tradition, history, religion, language and particular ethnic characteristics”, Argyridou adds.

Faneromeni church ecclesiastical committee also helps poor families when needed.

Faneromeni high school was founded in 1852, originally an all boys school. From 1937 to 1961 the school operated as a school for girls. Today, the school operates as a nest of multiculturalism, offering education to children of all origin, ethnicity, religion and background.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN led negotiations are underway between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in an effort to reunite the island under a federal roof.

Nicosia remains today the only divided capital in Europe.





* AMAN competitions for best news item and best photo for the year 2011-2012, in accordance with the rules adopted by the General Assembly of AMAN, as below:

 1.       Entries must refer to themes concerning the Mediterranean region.

 2.       Entries must have been published by the submitting member news agency during the last 12 months prior to 15 December   2011.

 3.       Each member news agency may participate in the   competitions with one news item and one photo only.

 4.       Entries must reach the Secretary General of AMAN, Acting Director General of CNA Mr. George Penintaex by March 15,         2012.  His e-mail address is:

 5.       News items and photo captions must be translated into English by submitting member news agency.

 6.       News items must not exceed 1200 words.

 7.       Photos can be in colour or black and white.

 8.       Photo captions must not exceed 100 words.

 9.       Photos and captions must be sent to the Secretary General of AMAN by e-mail.

 According to the rules, the Secretary General of AMAN will send copies of all entries to the members of the Follow-Up Committee one week after the closing date. The Follow-Up Committee, at its meeting in April 2012, will choose the winners from the entries submitted in accordance with the rules and will announce the winners at the following General Assembly in 2012. During the General Assembly a brief ceremony will be held for presentation of the awards to the two winners who will be invited by the host agency to spend a week in its country.

 On behalf of the President of AMAN and all members of the Follow-Up Committee I strongly urge all member news agencies of AMAN to participate in the competitions and comply with the rules mentioned above.

Download the official letter



Ø     EFE PHOTO/ Gustavo Cuevas

Madrid, 21st May 2010 - Spanish bullfighter Julio Aparicio is gored in the throat by a bull form Pedro Domecq cattle, during a bullfight of the Festival of Saint Isidro in Las Ventas. He recovered totally and returned to the arena on 01 August 2010 in Spain.

ESPAÑA-TOROS SAN ISIDRO: MADRID, 21/05/2010.- El diestro Julio Aparicio es cogido en el cuello por el primer toro, de la ganadería de Juan Pedro Domecq, en el festejo que se está celebrando en la plaza de toros de Las Ventas correspondiente a la feria de San Isidro.  La corrida ha quedado en un mano a mano entre "Morante de la Puebla" y "El Cid".




Zagreb, Croatia, 01.09.2010 - Croatian athlet Blanka Vlasic celebrates winning jump during finals of IAAF World Challenge Zagreb 2010 athletics meeting, 1. September 2010 in Zagreb, Croatia. Blanka Vlasic was voted best World and European athlet of the 2010.






Written by Jamil Dababat



Floral Splendor in Palestine


NABLUS, February 1, 2010 (WAFA) - The GPS device connected to the satellite (407 m) records mountain elevation from sea level. Here, in the north of the West Bank as in all historic Palestine, roses grow and blossom according to the climate.


The wind is blowing without any specific direction. Low morning clouds seem to be touching the mountain tops northeast of the city of Jenin. As the wind blows, the dozens of different wild flowers move in all directions.


Here, one can count the numbers of wild Middle Eastern (Mediterranean) flowers and can identify the strength of each flower by the intensity of the wind in the region that is part of a Mediterranean climate.



In Palestine, 3,000 types of wild flowers and others not yet discovered, blossom these days. It seems the mountain near the mountainous village of Raba surrounded by carpet-like trees have at its bottom bright yellow Qandoul, which is a tree from the Old Testament period associated with the heritage of the Palestinians.

People here raise livestock and work in the fields and in other occupations. Some worship the land, but they do not care much for the flowers that have grown in most parts of the West Bank. For them it is just a flower. They do not care what the legend says about it that it grew from the blood of the brother of Al-Nu'man Ibn Al-Munthir.


A recently published book by the Wildlife Society on biological diversity said that the organic and natural Palestinian plants are classified into 128 groups, including 14 from the botanical family of ferns and 124 flowering plants.


Most of the plants in the Palestinian territories bloom in the spring, which began early this year. But the effect of high temperature, as said in the book prepared by the researcher in botanical diversity Imad Atrash, is evident on the time for flowering, which comes one month earlier in the Jordan Valley.


But there is a time where natural flowers blossom throughout the year. According to the book, 9% of the flowers bloom in January and 21% in February.


Mountains of the northern West Bank appear as natural farms for those flowers. No one can claim ownership of this farm. So it is possible to see many of these families that benefit from the warmth of the winter and the calm of the wilderness wherever it wants without having to look into the origin of the family of these flowers.


But what about the most beautiful and controversial flowers in historical Palestine?

Some of them are associated with names of countries such as dates of the Egyptian desert (Zaqqum), and Egyptian haloloo, which is a flower next to the Alhamham that attracts insects producing sweet nectar honey taste.


These flowers used to attract children in the past who would drink their juice.  Among the thousands of these kinds, there is the Halouk, which does not follow the photosynthesis process. It is a leafless flower that comes out of the ground and includes five million seeds that remain in the soil for 20 years, according to al-Atrash.


In the mountains and plains of the northern West Bank, it was not possible to see this flower in such an early time of the year.


However, it is possible to see a plant that came from Argentina some 3,000 years ago, as some accounts say. It is Alkhatmieh (cow eye), which could rise up to three meters and is characterized by its variety of colors.


In almost every mountain site, the Aftreet (devil) flower grew, which is from the family of tulips.


In the plains of Raba, there is al-Majn apple, which is a plant that goes back to the old historical periods and is linked to the religious history of the region. But it blooms only in the month of March.


In contrast to old beliefs held by some about it that it brings madness to those who eat its fruit, leaves of this plant look green, delicate and pretty.


On the eastern slopes of the northern West Bank, a large number of flowers that blossomed appear, and some of them have leaves due to early growth and mild temperatures


The new book mentions many examples about flowers of Palestine, but it does not talk about their link to the prevailing culture.


But one of the most famous plants closely remembered by Palestinians is the Apple of the Dead Sea, which is a shrub growing in the wild land of Jerusalem and has a characteristic of being toxic and can cause blindness.


The Dead Sea Apple rises about two meters above the ground.

In the West Bank, when the green starts to fade gradually as the earth drops in height from the ground level and the transition of the climate from one to another, the flowers appear more solid and stronger than other mountain flowers.


In the colorful mountains of Raba, it was possible to see some flowers that have lost their leaves leaving visible round heads covered with delicate plant layer. But near Jericho, it is possible to see tough bulbs with light colors.


The flowers in Palestine are dazzling. But they are not far from politics at all, like most of the components of life. Al-Atrash says that the Israelis have repeatedly tried to register some of the Palestinian flowers with Israeli names, as they did with the Anemone flower.


A trip in the Palestinian territories with its small geographical area in the first three months of the year reveals the nature of the botanical diversity in it, which is more distinctive than many of the world's continents.