In March 2011, as a fallout of the Arab Spring that had erupted in the Middle-East, Syrians took the streets in order to demand politic and economic reforms from the government of President Bashar al-Assad. What started as peaceful protesting, soon evolved into massive civil disorder and eventually into a civil war, that has killed thousands and displaced at least 2 million Syrians. The government is one of the main actors responsible for the bloodshed, since it started to repress the protesters by military force and has not stopped ever since.
Today, we have decided to write about Molhem Barakat. You may never have heard about this person, but he was a brave Syrian young man of 18 years old. From May 2013 to December 2013, he worked as a freelance photographer for the international news agency, Reuters. Reuters has not explained how he ended up doing this work, but during that period he photographed the Syrian conflict from up-close, portraying the daily lives of the Syrian people but also the fightings between the different factions. An important number of his photos were published by the news agency, that apparently provided him the photographic material and gave him 100$ a day for 10 photographs. Unfortunately, such a work carries big risks, since it means living the war on the first row. Despite his courage, Molhem Barakat died on December 20th 2013, while documenting the conflict in the ravaged city of Aleppo. According to the Associated Press, he was with his brother, a Free Syrian Army fighter, taking shelter in a carpet factory near the hospital of Aleppo. The Committee to Protect Journalists, places Syria as the most dangerous and deadliest place for a journalist to be, with 29 deaths in 2013.
Molhem Barakat will surely remain in the History of Syria, when times of peace and reconciliation will come. Check out some of his photos here.