To mark one year since the fall of Eastern Aleppo, during which the bloodiest campaigns by Syrian government led forces saw the systematic bombings of hospitals and aid convoys, Heinrich Boell foundation held the event “Across & Beyond Aleppo” on December 11th 2017 at ArtLab Gemmayzeh.
It comprised of a panel discussion entitled “Aid under Attack - Targeting Hospitals as a Dangerous Precedent to Set” bringing together journalists, medical practitioners and activists to talk about their experiences and shed light on how healthcare was being “weaponized” in the Syrian conflict.
The event kicked off with an immersive art installation entitled “Aleppo’s Walk of Life” which screened the short film “Aleppo 8” a fusion of personal videos shot by Syrian activists who captured how life changed in the city over the course of the conflict. The video was projected on white veil material commonly used my women in the region as head scarves for the mourning of loved ones during funerals. The project is a collaborative effort between Syrian filmmaker Abdullah Alhakawati and HBS Program Manager, Nadine Elali
The talk featured Syrian doctors from Aleppo Fouad Fouad and Wael al-Raas, Chief Medical Officer at UOSSM, civil society representatives such as Diana Semaan, a Syria researcher at Amnesty International, and James Sadri, the director of the NGO The Syria Campaign, and it was moderated by Andrea Böhm, correspondent of German weekly "Die Zeit" in Beirut. The participants shed light on the merciless attempts to inflict suffering on civilians enduring warfare denying them of their right to protection and on the dire strain on aid workers working to fulfill their duty to life saving and discussed the possible ways in which warring parties could be stopped from targeting aid, how they must resolve to protect civilians, and to allow humanitarians to do their work with neutrality.
The event also included of a photography exhibition entitled Life-Saving under Siege by Abd Alkader Habaq a Syrian photojournalist who captured life during the siege on Aleppo from 2015 to 2016 along with another exhibition entitled Death from the Sky by photojournalist Sam Tarling who has also been documenting life in Aleppo.