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It was a fitting start for Saturday evening's event – the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture's announcement of the winners of its documentary and photography grant program, an initiative that aims to further the cultural relevance of the form in the Middle East and take both artist and viewer beyond the region's usual stereotypes.The 3-year-old program, which is being run in association with Magnum Photos' non-profit foundation and the Netherlands-based Prince Claus Fund, saw some 84 applicants from 16 Arab countries whittled down to 10 winners from eight around the region.Planning to explore the human fallout of Syria's 3-year-old civil war is Omar Imam, this year's Syrian grant winner."Live Love Refugee" will be a series of photographs – "based on personal experience," Imam explained – dedicated to how the conflict has affected the country's lovers, couples and even widows. In addition to receiving production funds winners are invited to two intensive workshops, and will be mentored for six months in project development – aiming to get the artists as much exposure as possible.
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