Image used for illustrative purposes only. Source: Altus Host

The year 2019 was filled with action and many iconic moments across the world so it's no surprise photographers jumped on the opportunity to document the decade.

There were some incredible photographs taken from all over the globe, including the Arab world, where hundreds of shots have chronicled the happenings over 365 days. "Hope" was one of the main recurring themes in the region.

Many of the below photos may seem sorrowful, but by looking further, the hope within them begins to take shape. 

Here are eight of the many exceptional photos taken in the Arab world in 2019:

1. Uncle Hasan

Source: Arab News

Zeinab Khalifeh, a 26-year-old Lebanese nurse, took this shot of late "Uncle Hasan" in Sidon, Lebanon, as a means of putting her community's "forgotten people and places" back out of the shadow.

"My picture portrays one moment in his 40 years in the souq. Forty years of hope and sadness that he shared with his sewing machine," she told Arab News.

Khalifeh was one of two winners of the 9th edition of the Arab world's prestigious annual photography competition "Moments."

2. Pope Francis and Grand Imam of al-Azhar

Source: Gulf News

Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, were photographed kissing each other after they had signed a document in February on fighting extremism during an inter-religious meeting at the Founder's Memorial in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The photo was taken by Reuters correspondent Tony Gentile

3. "Wall of Freedom"

Source: Al Arabiya

This photo is a depiction of "challenge, courage and simple ways of self-defense and confrontation." The 31-year-old photographer Mustafa al-Sumaidaie took the photo of a barricade on the Jumhuriya Bridge in Baghdad's Tahrir Square on Nov. 5.

Sumaidaie believes in the revolutionary power and impact photography can have. Although he took multiple pictures that day, in his opinion "this one is the best to translate to direct message to the public opinion and world opinion."

4. What Hajj is all about

Source: Arab News

Trying to capture an image for the Best Hajj Photo competition, little did Saudi photographer Saud Almusihij know he would be capturing the true essence of Hajj in a single photograph. 

Noticing the old pilgrim having a hard time, the police officer checked on him, cooled him down with some cold water, and then proceeded to carry him for three kilometers.

Their smiles alone speak volumes.

According to Almusihij, the policeman "had to stop several times to catch his breath, but he kept going until he got the old man to where he wanted to be in Arafat."

5. Iftar near the aftermath of a wreckage

Source: Gulf News

An Anadolu Agency photographer, Mustafa Hassona, depicted the lives of Palestinians in a series of photos taken during the month of Ramadan in 2019.

Hassona showed a group of Palestinians breaking their fast next to what were once their homes. The group sat down together to enjoy dinner after setting up tables along a thin line of rubble-free "street" in Gaza.

Out of the 10 photographs he captured and released that day, this one gained the most attention on Instagram.

6. "Bathtub Amongst the Rubble"

Source: Arab News

This photo was actually taken in 2015 by photographer Wissam Nassar. It gained mass attention in 2019 after it won third place during the 8th season of Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Awards in Dubai.

The shot depicts a 30-year-old father bathing his young daughter and niece in the only remaining chunk of what was once their home, the bathtub.

7. "Fleeing ISIS in Syria"

Source: npr

Brazilian photojournalist Felipe Dana took a series of pictures portraying the occurrences during the evacuation of women and children from ISIS territory in a desert outside Baghouz, Syria.

Out of the group of photographs, CBS News chose this as one of their Top photos of 2019.

It shows a woman and her baby walking away from Syrian Democratic Forces after being evacuated and screened.

8. "Cliff Diving"

Also selected as one of CBS News' Top photos of 2019, this was taken during the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series competition in Beirut, Lebanon, in July.

Photographer Hussein Malla captured the diver at the perfect moment, making her look as if she was soaring over the sea and under the famous Raouche rock.