Winners of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, the prestigious American journalism award, were announced on Monday, and among the collection of outstanding images in the photography categories, submissions featuring coverage of Syria's civil war rose above the fold.
Javier Manzano, a freelance photographer working with Agence France-Press, won the Feature Photography award, becoming the first freelance photographer in 17 years to win a Pulitzer, according to news accounts.
The award for Breaking News Photography went to a group from the Associated Press (AP): Rodrigo Abd, Manu Brabo, Narciso Contreras, Khalil Hamra, and Muhammed Muheisen.
In Manzano's award-winning image above, two rebel soldiers wait on the frontlines in Aleppo, Syria (map). Light streams in from the dozens of bullet holes that litter the walls of their makeshift sniper's nest and yet, as the men point a rifle out of a face-size gap, their focus appears unwavering despite their precarious surroundings.
According to Judy Walgren, director of photography for The San Francisco Chronicle and co-chair of the jury for this year's awards, Manzano's image "perfectly illustrates the ability of a photographer to step back and see beauty when destruction is all around."
The award-winning images by the Associated Press offer a glimpse into the struggle that civilians in Syria face every day. "All the photographers went to the front lines to photograph the rebels and the fighting, and there wasn't much attention paid to those people who were living in the streets," the AP's Muheisen told The New York Times.
"It's so important to me that the images of internally displaced Syrians are part of the Pulitzer Prize package," he said in the article. "It means that history won't forget them."