Beirut, 19/05/2010 - The Middle East was the focus on Thursday, May 19, 2010 in Haigazian University, during an evening with international photojournalist Harry Koundakjian, an event organized by Haigazian University on the occasion of the Lebanese Martyrs’ Day.
The former chief Middle East photographer for the Associated Press Harry Koundakjian was introduced to the audience by University Public Relations Director, Mira Yardemian, who reflected on the sacrifices of journalists in general and photojournalists in particular, while trying to capture and seize moments in history throughout their lifetime career.
Through an engaging slide presentation featuring historic photos of events and people that have shaped the latter part of the 20th century, Harry Koundakjian, a.k.a. “Harry the Horse” by his colleagues and superiors, touched the audience with his unique humor, deeply moving them by the saddest and happiest of events.
The audience was attentively captured by the lens of Koundakjian, who commented on photos taken during a period of more than 50 years, covering conflicts, historical moments, political and religious figures, as well as famous stars; political leaders such as presidents Chamoun, Assad, Sadat, and Clinton. Kings such as King Hussein, King Saoud, Queen Elizabeth and the Shah of Iran. Political leaders such Arafat and late Prime Minister Hariri. Celebrities such as Gary Cooper, Shirley Temple, Dizzy Gillespie, and Laurence of Arabia, and William Saroyan. The show also featured tragic events, such as earthquakes, famines, and wars.
Veteran photographer, Harry L. Koundarkjian is considered to be one of the first press photographers in Lebanon. He joined the Associated Press in 1967, and was appointed chief of the A.P. Middle East photo staff in 1969.
Throughout his career, Koundarjian has been on a first name basis with many of its leaders. His photos- many, front page- have won him honors, including the AP Managing Editor’s plaque, and the World Press Photo Award.
Public Relations Director