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Reza is based in Paris, France.
Philanthropist, idealist, humanist, architect and photographer, REZA, as he is widely known, lives to shoot another day. No stranger to conflict, Reza brings image after winning image of never-before scenes to audiences around the world.
World famous for his intrepid explorer's style of capturing the world's most exotic places, Reza has covered most of the globe for National Geographic Magazine. Numerous films about Reza's work have been produced by National Geographic Television, most notably Frontline Diaries, which won an Emmy Award in 2002. Reza later served as Creative Director for National Geographic's most viewed documentary, Inside Mecca, in 2005. As part of its Exceptional Journeys series, National Geographic released a DVD in May 2008 looking at Reza's career as a photojournalist, with special features highlighting his extensive humanitarian work.
Reza’s images are iconic, but there's more to the award-winning photojournalist than just his camera. In 2001, he founded Aina (Persian for The Mirror), an international non-profit organization dedicated to educating and empowering Afghan women and children through the media. By providing educational opportunities in the field of communications and multimedia, Aina aims to equip Afghans with the skills required to build a self-sufficient, democratic, and unified country. In 1991, Reza served as a consultant to the United Nations in Afghanistan, helping to distribute food to populations in war-torn parts of the country. For his exemplary dedication to such humanitarian causes and because of his work with Aina in Afghanistan, National Geographic awarded him the title of National Geographic Fellow in 2006.
Reza is deeply committed to the education of future generations. He spends much of his time as lecturer, trainer, and visiting professor, giving presentations and running workshops on global issues. His humanitarian work and photojournalism have been recognized by international institutions and universities, including George Washington University, Stanford University, Beijing University and the Sorbonne in Paris.
Reza's photographs have been exhibited in major cities throughout the world. War+Peace (2009), an exhibit featuring thirty years worth of Reza's photojournalistic adventures, was held at the Caen Memorial (Peace Museum) in Normandy, France. One World, One Tribe (2006), was the National Geographic Museum's first outdoor exhibition in Washington D.C., and Crossing Destinies (2003), Reza's landmark exhibition in Paris, drew a million visitors.
Over the last three decades, many of Reza’s photographs have graced the covers of National Geographic Magazine, with many more featured in major international publications. He is also the author of seventeen books, including War+Peace, the first in a series entitled Masters of Photography by National Geographic, and most recently, Sindhbad, Reza's adaptation of the seven journeys of this mystical character from the classic tale, A Thousand and One Nights. Childhood Promise is the story of discovery, narrated by three people, about a promise made by Reza to his son, Delazad.
In 1996, Reza won the Hope Prize for his contribution to a joint project with UNICEF in Rwanda entitled Lost Children's Portraits. In 2005, he was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite, France’s highest civilian honour, for his philanthropic work in the areas of children’s education and the empowerment of women in the media. In 2006, Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe presented him with the Prince of Asturias Humanitarian Medal on behalf of National Geographic. The same year, Reza received the Honor Medal from the University of Missouri -Columbia School of Journalism “in recognition of his lifelong contributions, through brilliant photojournalism, to justice and dignity for the world’s citizens." He also received an award recognizing his humanitarian work from the University of Chicago.
In 2008, Reza became a senior fellow of the Ashoka Foundation, and in May 2009, received the Honorary Degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the American University of Paris (AUP) for his achievements in journalism and humanitarianism. In October 2009, he received the Lucie Award for Achievement in Documentary from the New York-based Lucie Foundation. Reza is currently planning a new photography project with residents of the Sicilian suburb of Librino, as well as another major project in Burkina Faso.
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