I’m Sameer from Damascus. Life in Syria’s capital through the lens of a local cameraman

War has been raging in Syria for five years, causing millions to leave the country. This is the story of some who’ve stayed.

When the bloody conflict began, many Syrians had to put their lives on hold until the situation stabilised. But even after five years, there’s still no end in sight to the devastating war. Many civilians have lost their homes, their possessions and even loved ones. In an attempt to preserve at least some semblance of normality in their lives, people have learnt to live in the violently conflicted state. Just as in times of peace, they go to the market, meet in cafes, work, marry and organise big weddings. In Damascus, there’s been less devastation than in many other big Syrian cities, and so the capital welcomed many internally displaced refugees, but even here, no one is truly safe. Shells explode and kill indiscriminately, destroying roads, cars, buildings and killing anyone who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Sameer Alfarra is a cameraman for a Syrian TV Channel. He came to Damascus from Aleppo, fleeing the fighting and leaving his house and businesses behind. As the war progressed, he saw the strength of character in the ordinary Syrians who chose to remain in their home country. After filming people’s stories every day, visiting new sites of destruction and losing colleagues as war casualties, he knows better than anyone, what it takes for Syrian people to carry on with their lives, every day. Through his camera lens, he wants to show us the toll war has taken on the Syrian people as well as their unbroken spirit and how, through all the hardships and grief, they still manage to preserve love and hope for a peaceful future.

 

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