Everything is different this year.

Including my father Waleed’s birthday. He works in Oman and comes home to Bahrain every weekend. As expected, his routine changed this year. When travel was banned he was stuck in Oman. But when a plane was set to travel back to Bahrain, he was on it. Under the rules implemented by the government of Bahrain, any person who flew into the country needed to quarantine for two weeks. A few days after his return, April 12 was his birthday.

This picture shows him inside his room at our family home. My mother, who is carrying the cake, and my brother and grandmother and I surprised him. We accepted that the family reunion was without hugs and kisses, but it is enough that he is with us now.

To me, this picture depicts love and a family bond. It’s an image that one day I might show to my kids when I tell them about 2020, and maybe they will understand through this picture that no matter what circumstances the world takes you through, a family bond stays strong.

—Khalid Alabbas