What in the World: Syria - Introduction (02:12)
Journalist Paeder King delivers a brief history of the Syrian Civil War, which can be traced back to the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011; it has claimed half a million lives and displaced six million Syrians. King arrives in Aleppo a year after the city was retaken by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
Antoine Makdis (01:54)
Photographer Antoine Makdis, 24, documents the devastation of his city, which he calls “the mother of civilization” based on its ancient roots. He describes the horrors of war and the physical and psychological toll living under constant stress has taken on him.
Reem Asslo (01:58)
Asslo, 22, studies at Aleppo University and plays basketball in a city basketball league that shut down briefly during the civil war. She describes idyllic conditions before the conflict, which broke out when she was 16. She lives in constant fear and has occasionally suffered from shortages of food, water and power.
Yousef Ahmed Shawa (02:40)
Shawa discusses his nephew and others he has lost in the war. Abraham al Hadid, the director of Aleppo University Hospital, visits a 36-year-old man who has been shot and children injured by land mines. He says 28,000 war casualties were treated at the hospital in 2016.
Basheer Asslo (02:07)
Asslo visits the ruins of the shop where he once worked with his father. He says the Islamic State, the Al-Nusra Front, and other foreign insurgent groups participated in looting; he blames not only them but also the foreign interests that armed and sent them to his country.
Destruction of Aleppo (02:39)
Makdis visits a once popular cultural center to find ruins and piles of spent artillery casings. The photographer uses a scale model of Aleppo to point out neighborhoods that have been bombed out of existence. A barber describes the variety of shops that once occupied his devastated block and laments youth killed by insurgents.
Witnessing Death (02:33)
Makdis recalls the day terrorists arrived in his neighborhood and the grim promise he made to his father. He considers Syrian troops to be heroes for saving his family. Shawa's family tours the ruins of their neighborhood, passing the rubble that was once their house.
Child Casualties of War (02:35)
Al Hadid visits children who suffer from paralysis and severe brain trauma. Other patients learn to walk with prosthetic limbs. A nurse hints at the emotional toll of witnessing such carnage. Terrorists still lob mortars at citizens in the western part of the city.
Roula Luxa (01:52)
Luxa, 49, recalls evacuating her home after al-Nusra Front invaded her village and started harassing Christians, of which she is one. She describes the injuries she suffered from an explosion after arriving in Aleppo. She expresses sorrow but says she is optimistic about the future.
Before the Crisis (01:29)
Shawa recalls a time when his restaurant was filled with both locals and tourists. He remains uncertain about what triggered the civil war but feels foreign interests exploit the situation. Religious differences did not matter before the conflict and international intervention has only worsened ethnic tensions.
Hope for the Future (03:52)
Asslo tearfully recalls the day her sister was shot through the heart by a sniper. Teacher Shaddi Najar discusses the trauma Aleppo’s children have suffered and the healing power of music. King describes what he has learned during his visit.
Credits: What in the World (Series 2): Syria (00:55)
Credits: What in the World (Series 2): Syria
For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or firstname.lastname@example.org.