POW Most stunning photos from Lebanon 2016

Each December, POW (Photos of the week) releases their annual, look back at the most memorable, controversial, exceptional journalistic photos of the year.
In our middle eastern traditions, we usually celebrate birthdays by saying “May you live until 120″, and out of hundreds of incredible journalistic photos from Lebanon of 2016, we wrap up a tumultuous year with 120 of our unranked favorites of the year.

 

A snow-covered landscape in the village of Hammana. (WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)

A worker removes a dead sea turtle that was washed up on the beach in the port city of Sidon. (Ali Hashisho / REUTERS)

Samir Geagea walking with Michel Aoun, in Maarab. In a surprise reversal, Geagea endorsed the presidential candidacy of a rival, Michel Aoun, potentially defusing an 18-month crisis over the post. (ALDO AYOUB / LEBANESE FORCES)

A Lebanese activist reacts as riot police arrest him during a protest against government in front of the entrance of the Environment Ministry in downtown Beirut. (WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)

A demonstrator holds a placard that reads in Arabic ‘Justice at homeland democratic in one eye, traitor home free Michel Samaha, Wissam al-Hassan sorry, shame court’ during a protest against the release of former Lebanese minister of information and tourism, Michel Samaha in front of his house at Ashrafieh area in Beirut. (WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)

A truck drives on a highway near piled garbage in Beirut. (Aziz Taher / REUTERS)

Supporters of Hezbollah and Amel Movement carry a picture of Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr and Iranian flag (R) during a protest against the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the execution of prominent Saudi Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, in front of the United Nation building (ESCWA) at downtown Beirut. (WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)

Cars drive past rubbish piled up next to a highway bridge at the eastern entrance to Beirut. (JOSEPH EID / AFP)

Vineyards farm is seen cover by snow after a heavy snow storm in Kefraya of the Bekaa Valley. (Jamal Saidi / REUTERS)

Saad Hariri, signing a petition expressing “Solidarity with the Arab consensus and loyalty to the Arab brotherly states”, during a press conference in Beirut. (Nabil Ismail‎)

MP Saad Hariri shake hands with Pierre Abi Zeid, a Lebanese citizen, which a photo of him went viral last week after people linked his looks to the father of Saad, Raffic hariri, who was assassinated on 14 February 2005. (Saad Hariri Facebook)

Lebanese Christian believers march during a procession in the town of Annaya in northern Lebanon, marking the 23rd anniversary of a miracle Lebanese Saint Charbel (portrait) is believed to have carried out. (Patrick Baz / AFP)

A general view shows packed garbage bags in Jdeideh, Beirut. (Hasan Shaaban / REUTERS)

Relatives and friends mourn the death of Hezbollah fighter, Ali Ahmad Sabra, who was killed in Syria. (Mohammed Zaatari / AP)

Pictures of Jesus Christ are plastered on a wall in the northern Lebanese town of Mayfouq. (Patrick BAZ / AFP)

Hundreds of AUB Dabke Club students perform the Lebanese traditional dance (Dabke) during ‘The Longest Dabke in the History of AUB’ from Bliss Hall to Medical Gate to celebrate the American University of Beirut (AUB)’s 150th anniversary. (Abbas Salman)

A woman takes a picture of Beirut’s landmark of Rawshe illuminated in the colours of the Belgium flag on March 26, 2016, during a ceremony in the Lebanese capital to pay tribute to the victims of a triple bomb attack that hit Brussels. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

Lebanon’s Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rai, blesses prisoners and guards during the Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) mass at Lebanon’s Roumieh prison. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)

Local men reenact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday in Qraiyeh, On Good Friday. (NABIL MOUNZER / EPA)

A militant from Hezbollah and a soldier from the Syrian government forces standing infront of the ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, after it was recaptured from Daesh while backed by Russian air power. (Unknown)

Lebanese carrying flags and slogans infront of the Eiffel tour, simultanistly with the protest happening Beirut against the ongoing garbage crisis, in Paris, France (Mohamed Charara)

A Lebanese demonstrator lies holding her national flag blocking the Dawra road, in protest after authorities said they would reopen a landfill to ease the rubbish crisis. (MARWAN TAHTAH / AFP)

Protesters, wearing Guy Fawkes masks, take part in a protest against what they say is the government’s failure to resolve a crisis over rubbish disposal near the government palace in Beirut. (Mohamed Azakir / REUTERS)

Lebanese activists hold torches as they walk during a protest against the garbage crisis in Beirut. (WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)

Residents perform during the annual Zambo carnival, in the coastal city of Tripoli. (Omar Ibrahim / REUTERS)

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Special Envoy Angelina Jolie reacts as it rains during a news conference during her visit to Syrian refugees in the Bekaa valley. (Mohamed Azakir / REUTERS)

MP Saad Hariri taking a selfie photo with his supporters at the entrance of a mosque in Bekaa after performing Friday’s prayer. (STR)

skeletons of unidentified people sit in a tomb at the Greek Orthodox monastery of Our Lady of Hamatoura in northern Lebanon. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)

A Lebanese woman holding a rosary uses her mobile phone as she prepares to take part in a march in downtown Beirut to mark the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)

Models display a creation by K-Lynn Lingerie during a fashion show in Beirut. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

Greek Orthodox Christians walk past a mural in Beirut depicting famous Japanese manga hero Grandizer (also known as Goldorak or Goldrake) as they march during a procession marking Palm Sunday. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)

Lebanese youths hold national flags during a rally organised by the “Joy of Giving” NGO to mark the 41st anniversary of the civil war in Lebanon in front of the National Museum, in Beirut. (Abbass Salman)

French President Francois Hollande (C), Lebanon’s Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rai (C-L), the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and the Whole Levant, and French Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (L) pose for a group picture with Christian, Shiite, Sunni and Druze religious figures following a meeting at the Residence des Pins (Pine Residence). (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP)

Lebanese women flash the palm of their hands colored in red as they demonstrate against prostitution, sex slavery and violence against women in front of the Justice Palace in the capital Beirut. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)

A woman gestures as Fatah members carry the coffin of Fathi Zaydan, during his funeral in Mieh Mieh Palestinian refugee camp, near Sidon. (Ali Hashisho / REUTERS)

Trucks wait to unload garbage inside the Naameh landfill, south of Beirut. (Issam Abdallah / REUTERS)

An employee walks on newspapers after protesters attacked the office of Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat in Beirut. (Mohamed Azakir / REUTERS)

Minister Wael Abou Faour clapping with Minister Ghazi Aridi playing The Darbaka during his son’s wedding, in Beirut. (Brightlight Image)

Toro Rosso F1 driver Carlos Sainz of Spain speeds his car during the Culture Beirut Festival. (Jamal Saidi / REUTERS)

Pictures of candidates are spread in Sidon in preparation for Sunday’s elections (Abbass Salman)

People celebrate in front of a plaque reading in Portuguese and Arabic: “Street Michel Temer, Vice President of Brasil” after Brazilian of Lebanese descendent Michel Temer became acting President of Brazilو in the Lebanese village of Btaaboura, north of Beirut. (IBRAHIM CHALHOUB / AFP )

Nasser (L) and Mohammad Ali Darwish, two Syrian refugee brothers, make drawings before selling them on Gemmayzeh street. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

Ali Akbar Velayati (R), Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s top advisor on international affairs, talks with another attendee behind Lebanon’s Hezbollah deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem during a conference. (Aziz Taher / REUTERS)

A Lebanese man puts up a poster of a candidate for the upcoming Beirut municipal elections on a shop window in Ashrafiyeh. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)

Two elderly Lebanese women look on as a protest of migrant domestic workers march by, demanding better work conditions such as minimum wage, on Labour Day in Beirut. (OLIVER WEIKEN / EPA)

Lebanese Muslim Shiite women walk past a banner depicting Virgin Mary as they pay a visit to the shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon in the town of Harissa. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)

Walid Jumblatt (2ndR) holds a banner while sitting next to MP Ghazi Aridi (R), as they take part in a sit-in in solidarity with the people of Aleppo, in front of the offices of the U.N. headquarters in Beirut. The banner (L) reads: ‘We will Burn Israel. Aleppo is burning’.(Mohamed Azakir / REUTERS)

Lebanese Forces MP Antoine Zahra holding a machine gun, and calling to protect Al Qaa town, after several bomb blasts happened.

A Lebanese woman plays in water on a beach in the southern Lebanese port city of Tyre. ( Benjamin CREMEL / AFP)

A man yawning during ESMOD’s end of the year graduation events with a fashion show in Zaytuna Bay area, in Beirut. (Nabil Ismail)

Women pose with guns in front of journalists in the Christian village of Qaa, where suicide bomb attacks took place, in the Bekaa valley. (Hassan Abdallah / REUTERS)

A kebab shop owner sits in front of his shop decorated with German national flags in the Armenian quarter of Bourj Hammoud of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, ahead of the Euro 2016 football competition. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)

Palestinian children dance as activists during a protest against ‘G4S’ company in front of the Lebanese Central Bank, in Beirut, Lebanon. (NABIL MOUNZER / EPA)

People inspect the damage at the headquarters of the Lebanese Blom Bank where an explosion occurred outside the bank in Beirut. (Aziz Taher / REUTERS)

Young people gather to jointly practice yoga under slogan ‘Embody the Change’ at Martyrs Square in Beirut. (WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)

Printed ballot papers are seen on the ground in front of a polling station during the municipal elections in Tripoli. (Abbas Salman / Facebook)

A poster depicting Sunni politician Ashraf Rifi (C) is seen among posters of Lebanese candidates that were running in Tripoli’s municipal and mayoral elections, Lebanon. (Omar Ibrahim / REUTERS)

Dozens of Lebanese activists in protest in front of the Palace of Justice in Beirut refusing the sentence against Mohammad Alnahila, the murderer of his wife Manal Assi, who was jailed for only 5 year. In the photo, the mother of Rola Yaacoub, another victim of domestic violence. (Hussein Baydoun / alaraby aljadeed)

People gather while inspecting damage after a fire broke out inside an informal camp for Syrian refugees in Taanayel, Bekaa valley. (Hassan Abdallah / REUTERS)

Jamaican-US actress and singer Grace Jones performs on stage during the annual Byblos International Festival. (WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)

A portrait of former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri arrived to Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv “by mistake”. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Gamers gather around in Downtown Beirut and play Pokemon Go application on their mobiles. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

Fireworks light up the skies over the Jounieh bay, during the launch of the city’s international festival. (Patrick Pharaon / Facebook)

Protesters holding a banner reading in Arabic “(Michel) Aoun was a refugee in France” in Beirut during a demonstration to protest against racism towards the refugees. (Hussein baydoun)

Lebanese protesters hold a banner reading in Arabic “It is forbidden to impose curfew” in Beirut during a demonstration to protest against racism and in particular against a curfew that prevents Syrian refugees from leaving their homes between sunset and sunrise. (JOSEPH EID / AFP)

A group of protesters gathered in front of the justice palace in Beirut to protest rape and rape culture in Lebanon. The protest was triggered by a rape case in Tripoli. Protest holding a sign: “Rape and marry for free!” The sign makes reference to the article 522 of the Lebanese Penal Code, allowing rapists to marry their victims, thus nullifying the rapist conviction. (Levant Chronicles)

Lebanese youth, under the name “Happy Faces” spreading joy, ringing bells, drumming and chanting as they walk walked inside the old city of Tripoli, Lebanon, celebrating Eid El-Fitr. (Malek Haddad / Facebook)

Lebanese security forces keep watch as Muslim worshippers perform Eid al-Fitr prayers outside the Mohammad al-Amin mosque in Beirut. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

People ride a Ferris wheel in an amusement park as they celebrate the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, at the port-city of Sidon. (Ali Hashisho / REUTERS)

Worshipers who follows Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, hold Eid El Fitr prayer in open air after allegedly being banned by Hezbollah from entering a mosque, in Kawthariyat As Siyad, southern of Lebanon.

Lebanese Christian mourners attend the funeral service of victims of suicide attacks earlier this week in the village of al-Qaa, near the country’s border with war-ravaged Syria. (JOSEPH EID / AFP)

Lebanese cyclist and former banker Micky Chebli is cheered by friends upon his arrival to Beirut sea-side on July 2, 2016, after a bike trip from Paris. Chebli, 50, cycled 4000 kilometres from Paris to Beirut in 35 days to raise $300000 USD for three Lebanese NGOs. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)

Women and men alike flock down the Burtassi Mosque, just like every year in the remaining days of Ramadan, to get as close as possible to one of the very few remnants of the prophet of Islam Muhammad (PBUH), one of his hairs, in Tripoli, Lebanon. (Natheer Halawani)

A group of “intellectuel and member of syndicates” organised a gathering in downtown Beirut demanding the respect of constitutional deadline to elect a new president. (Nabil Ismail / Facebook)

A Sukleen garbage collector picks up some trash thrown on a street while pile of garbage are waiting to be lifted, in Jdeideh area. (Adel Moubarak / Facebook)

Competitors pose on stage during Lebanon’s bodybuilding championship in the capital Beirut. ( PATRICK BAZ / AFP)

A Lebanon fan makes a bungee jump from a 45-meter-tall platform at Boulevard Olimpico, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (TASSO MARCELO / AFP)

Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora (center) covered with blanket during the opening of Tannourine festival, with the Rahbani play of “Muluk Al-tawaiif”. (Nabil Ismail)

A 50-years-old man “Mliad” stages a protest inside a cage, symbolize a prison, at Riad Al Solh Square in Beirut, Lebanon. A poster, reading “I have prisoned by family, religious sect, country, press, security forces, law, art and artists” in Arabic is hanged on the cage by Milad. (Ratib Al Safadi / Anadolu Agency)

The caligraphic image of Lebanese diva Sabah is seen beside an airplane passing above the Hamra street in Beirut, Lebanon. (Abbass Salman)

Mariana Sahakian Lebanon eyes the ball during her match against Funke Oshonaike from Nigeria, during the 2016 Rio Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Alkis Konstantinidis / REUTERS)

The airport road of Beirut has been closed for several hours after a pickup truck carrying watermelons had a road accident. (Mustafa M Itani / Facebook)

Lebanese youths take part in the “Sidon in Colours” festival. (Mahmoud ZAYYAT / AFP)

A photograph of the Lebanese flag is placed instead of the official profile picture of the president at the Airport VIP Lounge in the Rafik Hariri International Airport, Beirut. (WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)

A veiled girl carrying the Lebanese communist party flag, during a gathering on the occasion of the 34th anniversary of the start of Lebanese National Resistance Front, Jammoul, in Beirut. (Khodor Lamaa / Facebook)

A general view shows packed garbage bags in Jdeideh, Beirut. (Hasan Shaaban / REUTERS)

A boy rides a bicycle near grave decorations displayed for sale prior to Eid Adha in Nabatiyeh, South Lebanon. (Ali Hashisho / REUTERS)

Lebanese drive vintage cars during the Classic Cars Show which is organised as part of the Amchit festival. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

A bride coming down from the roof of a building, sitting in a cage and being lowered with a crane, in Lebanon. That photo went viral with mixed reviews about it. (Joe Hoayek)

Saad Hariri seen biting his finger before announcing his support for Michel Aoun as presidential candidate. (Hussein Baydoun / Facebook)

A woman mourns Hezbollah fighter Alaa Najmeh, who was killed in Aleppo, during his funeral in Adloun. (Ali Hashisho / REUTERS)

Sandy Tabet is crowned Miss Lebanon 2016, by last year’s winner Valerie Abou Chacra (R), at Casino Du Liban in Jounieh. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

A full moon over the statue of martyrs in downtown Beirut. (Instagram / Hassan Ammar)

Randa Berri, right, the wife of Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, cooks traditional HARISA food in large pots, as part of the Ashoura celebration, at her house in the southern town of Zahrani. (Mohammed Zaatari / AP)

A Shi’ite Muslim man wears a religious icon on his chest, while covered with blood after tapping his forehead with a razor during Ashura in Nabatiyeh. (Ali Hashisho / REUTERS)

Floating trash hits the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea in Beirut. (Hassan Ammar / AP)

Women members of Hezbollah take selfies as they gather during the start of the Central Council Ashura. (NABIL MOUNZER / EPA)

A man hangs by a crane with a star to be fixed as decoration on a Christmas tree in Sidon. (Ali Hashisho / REUTERS)

PM Saad Hariri and his cousin Ahmad Hariri kissing a child after both being reelected in Future Movement internal elections. (Hussam Chbaro / Facebook)

Byblos inaugurated a 30-metre high Christmas tree displayed at its entrance. (WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)

The temples of Baalbek, a UNESCO world heritage site in Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa Valley, are illuminated with a portrait of celebrated Lebanese singer Fayrouz as part of an event to celebrate the singer’s 81th birthday. (AFP / STRINGER)

A model displays a chocolate dress at the Salon Du Chocolat 2016 fashion show in Beirut. (JOSEPH EID / AFP)

Nabil Karam poses with his Guinness World Record certificates for the largest collection of model cars and the largest collection of dioramas, in Zouk Mosbeh. (Aziz Taher / REUTERS)

Saad al-Hariri sharing some candy with parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri, while President Michel Aoun looking at them and former PM Tammam Salam looking away during the military parade to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of Lebanon’s independence in downtown Beirut. (Mohamed Azakir / REUTERS)

Participants take part in the annual Beirut Marathon. (Mohamed Azakir / REUTERS)

The supermoon rises behind a cross at downtown Beirut. (WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)

Supporters of President Michel Aoun gathering in front the entrance of the presidential palace. (DALATI NOHRA)

A woman carries a picture of newly elected Michel Aoun in the Haret Hreik. (Khalil Hassan / REUTERS)

People cheer after Michel Aoun got the votes he needed to be elected as the new president. (JOSEPH EID / EPA)

A 5m Christmas tree made of bananas in the town of Damour. A 5m Christmas tree made of bananas in the town of Damour.

A 5m Christmas tree made of bananas in the town of Damour.

Minister Inaya Ezzidine, receiving congratulations after winning a vote of confidence, in the parliament building, Beirut. (Hussein Baydoun / Alaraby Aljadeed)

Minister Inaya Ezzidine, receiving congratulations after winning a vote of confidence, in the parliament building, Beirut. (Hussein Baydoun / Alaraby Aljadeed)

A man dressed as Santa Claus rides a Christmas decorated vehicle in Jiyeh. (Aziz Taher / REUTERS)

A man dressed as Santa Claus rides a Christmas decorated vehicle in Jiyeh. (Aziz Taher / REUTERS)

Christmas decorations are seen in downtown Beirut. (Mohamed Azakir / REUTERS)

Fireworks explode during the ceremonial lighting of the main Christmas tree in Tripoli. (WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)

Frosted Mzaar chapel on the top of Kfardebian, Lebanon. (Haig Melikian / Newsroom Nomad)

Frosted Mzaar chapel on the top of Kfardebian, Lebanon. (Haig Melikian / Newsroom Nomad)

A Sufi has a spike pierced into his cheek during a ritual ceremony to commemorate the birth of the Prophet Mohammed in Sidon. (MAHMOUD ZAYYAT / AFP)

A Sufi has a spike pierced into his cheek during a ritual ceremony to commemorate the birth of the Prophet Mohammed in Sidon. (MAHMOUD ZAYYAT / AFP)

PM Saad Hariri ridiculed online with a viral photo showing him passing by a “Discounted price” sign while visiting “Beirut International Book Fair”.

Gabriel pulling his father’s ear Minister Gebran Bassil while standing beside his grandfather President Michel Aoun, during the Christmas lightning in the presidential palace. (Nabil Ismail / Facebook)

People gather under a Christmas Tree in Zgharta. (Omar Ibrahim / REUTERS)

Activists from Abaad NGO protest in Beirut, against article 522 in the penal code. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)

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