by Alex Ray
April 22, 2020
“In a way, I still find so much beauty amid this destruction,” says Salah Maraashi as he wanders the now-ghostly old souks (covered markets) of Aleppo with his camera just before sunset. Perhaps only a photographer could find such destruction alluring.
Continue reading ““The world through my eyes”: The locals documenting Aleppo’s ravaged beauty”
An edited version of this article appeared online in the Middle East Eye on May 26, 2019.
By Alex Ray
“When people pluck these flowers, it’s like they are plucking my heart,” said an emotional Fareed Notafji as we drank sweet, strong ‘labourer’s tea’ in front of the guard shed at Damascus’s Botanic Gardens.
The sound of the fast-flowing Barada river accentuated the gardens’ dreamy setting beneath the old city walls. The location made it possible to momentarily forget the ongoing war outside the Syrian capital.
Continue reading “The gardens of Damascus: can Syrians reconnect with nature?”
By Alex Ray
A chance Facebook encounter revives the story of a unique Syrian establishment after six years of war and tragedy.
My time as a foreign student of Arabic in Syria’s ancient capital began in typecast Damascene style.
Continue reading “The Damascus Hostel”
Influencing public opinion on the Syrian civil war continues to be just as important to winning as fighting on the ground. The ever-increasing complexity of the conflict means what is not said can be just as influential as what is said. Reporting that ignores context and vital explanatory detail can simply confuse or, even worse, mislead the reader.
Continue reading “Laundering Al-Qaeda”