Douma, the 9th largest Syrian city, not far from Damascus. Another war-torn city full of apocalyptic scenes - a grim canvas of blood, pain and death. Inconceivable for everyone, perhaps even more so for the children.

Photojournalist Mohammed Badra, born in Douma, studied architecture and currently works for epa. The war changed him: he had to witness it first-hand, he provided first aid for the Red Crescent – the sister organization of the Red Cross – and he became involved with  the psychological support of victims. Badras’ picture of two festively dressed young girls, the steady gaze of the girl in white, the nervous gaze of the girl in red, the wall littered with bullet holes – an almost surreal moment amidst the gunfire and explosions.

About one million people are caught between the front lines in Syria. Children die in bombarded schools, work in morgues. The last remaining hospitals close. In the other pictures of his photo series, Badra captured a both touching and incredible will to survive: playgrounds in trenches, decorated with Mickey Mouse pictures. Pillows and balls behind bars. And a Ferris wheel in a concrete bunker - assembled from the remains of rockets.

Curriculum Vitae: Mohamad Badra (epa)

Portrait: Mohammed Badra

© Mohammed Badra (epa)

Mohammed Badra was born in Douma, Syria. He studied architecture at Damascus University but had to abandon his studies in his third year due to the war. After working for other news agencies he joined epa (European Pressphoto Agency) in October, 2015 as staff photographer. Mohammed has also worked with the Syrian Red Crescent as a first-aider, psychological supporter and photographer. His strong desire is that his photography contributes to a better awareness of the ongoing crisis in Syria.


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