2011 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, 1st prize

Escape from Somalia


Ed Ou

29 March, 2010

Refugees ride crammed into a tiny boat, heading illegally to Yemen. The boat broke down halfway across the Gulf of Aden, forcing the occupants to return to Djibouti, where they were arrested shortly after landing. 

Every year thousands of people risk their lives crossing the Gulf of Aden from Djibouti, escaping poverty, fighting, and hunger in the Horn of Africa. A large number come from Somalia, which has a long history of civil conflict, and from Ethiopia, which is in the grip of its worst drought in recent history, and is facing severe food shortage.

About the photographer

Ed Ou

Canadian photojournalist Ed Ou was born in 1987 and took up photography as a teenager, covering the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, as well as the fall of the Islamic Cour...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
2.5 s
Focal length
24 mm
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

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