Ameer Alhalbi captures the Syrian war through his photographs of Aleppo

Photographer Ameer Alhalbi has been portraying the Syrian war for three years now: “I want to show the outside world the suffering being endured by the Syrian people”.

I honestly think that the war in Syria will never end. I have been photographing the war in my native Aleppo for three years now. Last Thursday was one of the most hellish days that my city has endured”.



Ameer Alhalbi, independent photographer for AFP, wrote these words. For once, he didn’t just point his camera at heartwrenching scenes, but decided to add some words laden with resignation.


“I was there when the air raid struck”

“I took the images in the Al-Kalasa residential district, controlled by the rebels and besieged by regime forces. When the air raid struck, I was some hundred meters away”. The neighbours were the first to help the wounded. A woman was crying for help for her husband and baby trapped in the rubble. Rescuers managed to get them down from the second floor of their demolished building. They weren’t hurt, quite a miracle.



“The shelling of Aleppo throughout the war has left it without any kind of life,” continues Alhalbi. “There are no restaurants, no cafes, no places of leisure and no trace of the rich cultural life that thrived in the country’s second city before this war. I’d say that Aleppo is one of the most dangerous cities in the world”.


“I too thought about leaving”

The photographer also tells how difficult working in such a context is. “It’s hard to work as a photographer in Syria, it’s a dangerous profession. Many people are bothered by photographers. Last year, in the Al-Fardous neighborhood, a photographer had his camera broken”.



Alhalbi was wounded by two bullets in April 2012, during the second year of the conflict. His father and his cousin were wounded too. “Many of my friends have left for Turkey and then on to Germany. Last year I too thought about leaving, but eventually dropped the idea, stayed and continued working. I want to show the outside world the suffering being endured by the Syrian people”.


Cover photo: a Syrian refugee ©Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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