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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke May 19, 2021

No, these aren’t photos of a photographer crying at the Aqsa Mosque

If Your Time is short

  • Photos of a crying photographer were taken at a 2019 soccer game, not at the Aqsa Mosque in May 2021. 

The Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem sits on a site that is sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians, and it was the backdrop for recent violence between Israeli police and Palestinians

A photo of Israeli security forces at the mosque is among four images included in a May 10 Facebook post. The other three are of a man crying behind a camera.

"A photojournalist rolls down tears while capturing pictures of Masjid Al-Aqsa," the post says. 

It was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The image of the mosque is authentic and was taken on May 7 by Anadolu Agency photographer Mostafa Alkharouf. 

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It was published on Anadolu Agency’s website with this caption: "Israeli security forces are seen as they enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, intervene Muslim worshippers with stun grenade during prayer." 

But Alkharouf was not joined by the crying photographer featured in the Facebook post.

A reverse image search shows that those photos have been online since early 2019. On Jan. 24 of that year, the verified Twitter account of soccer’s AFC Asian Cup tweeted one of the images and wrote: "Passionate. Emotional moment for an Iraqi photographer during the Round of 16 clash."

The tweet includes an emoji of Qatar’s flag. Iraq played Qatar in the Round 16 of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and lost 0-1.

The verified Twitter account of Sports360 Arabiya tweeted the same image that day. The caption, translated by Google from Arabic to English, says: "An Iraqi photographer cries while performing his work as he watches his country’s national team exit from the Asian Cup."

We rate this Facebook post False.


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No, these aren’t photos of a photographer crying at the Aqsa Mosque

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