Abdul Rahman Mounir Al-Zalem
“Getting to Jordan was dangerous and difficult. I hid in a hole for two days with no food, just water, and then I escaped. It was all walking, because there are no cars and no gas. I would find a house, go inside, get food and get out. There were no people in them. They were all hiding in the basement. I wouldn’t walk on the streets, I would walk in the fields and dirt so that the government forces wouldn’t see me.
We have no house now in Syria, because the government airplanes shelled it. There is no trace that it existed. We had a small orchard with 24 olive trees and five lemon trees and three grape vines. If Bashar goes away we would go to Syria, sit by the olive trees and we would sleep and eat and drink there.
I planted an olive tree here so we could feel like we were in Syria. Every week we say the next week we will return, we will go back to Syria. And now it has been two years. Maybe the same thing will happen to us like the Palestinians and we will wait for 60 years. Or maybe we will go back tomorrow, or maybe today.”
As some of you know, Benjamin Rasmussen and I went to Jordan this summer to work on a collaborative project about the Syrian refugee crisis there. We worked slowly, shooting portraits and recording stories so we could share the narratives of these real people in an expansive way.
We’re back now, the film is developed and scanned and now we are working on a 64 page newsprint publication featuring the stories and photos of a few of the some 2 million Syrians that have been forced to flee their homes.
The project thus far has been entirely self funded, save for a film sponsorship from Kodak. Long story short, we are now out of money and need to raise the money to print the publication. We have launched a kickstarter where you can pledge to get a newspaper and really really affordable prints. Please check it out and spread the word. 25 bucks gets you this photo as an 8x10 and a copy of the publication.
Thanks for looking and thanks to everybody who has followed along up to this point, it really means a lot.