In 2011 Ahmad and Karam, two university students from Deir ez-Zor took to the streets as part of the mass protest movement demanding an end to the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad. Their protest was met by violent reprisals, mass arrests, and soon war broke out and the government undertook a full siege of the city. Since that time, these two friends have become a reporting team, collecting videos and still images as their families and their community have been decimated by war.
I have been silent over the past 2 weeks, trying to process a recent journey and an experience that had a profound impact on me. Although it would seem there are several ways to tell this story, I will start from the beginning and later…
Kamal Hakim grew up in an era of reconstruction after the civil war in Lebanon. As the son of a Greek Orthodox – Sunni Muslim marriage, he recalls eating sour-kraut cooked by his protestant grandmother. His life was marked by all the struggles of a city of contradictions, contradictions which he recognizes in himself as well. As an illustrator, Kamal has a dream, a dream he must reconcile with the financial demands of life during an economic crisis in a country that lives every day not knowing if there will be a tomorrow.