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Your evening longread: The life of a Syrian photographer

It’s a coronavirus-free zone as we bring you an interesting longread each evening to take your mind off the news.

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Stock photo
Image: Shutterstock/Fly_and_Dive

EVERY WEEK, WE bring you a round-up of the best longreads of the past seven days in Sitdown Sunday.

For the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you an evening longread to enjoy which will help you to escape the news cycle. 

We’ll be keeping an eye on new longreads and digging back into the archives for some classics.

Abood Hamam: “A picture can kill you or save your life”

What is it like to be a photographer in a state like Syria? For Abood Hamam, it’s a job that could kill you or save your life.

From being a personal photographer of Bashar al-Assad and his wife to being forced to film IS victory parades, Hamam spent years taking photos. As he documented the war in Syria, he dropped his name and began to use a pseudonym to avoid being caught.

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He finally revealed his identity when he began to take photos of his home city of Raqqa, to entice the residents who had fled to return home.

(BBC, approx 8 minute reading time)

For years Abood Hamam chronicled the war in Syria for news outlets all over the world without ever revealing his name – and despite being employed by different warring parties. He began as photographer to the presidential couple – Bashar and Asma al-Assad. Later he filmed Islamic State’s victory parade. Now, finally, he’s broken cover, to encourage exiles to return to his beloved hometown, Raqqa.

Read all the Evening Longread’s here>

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