The First Journey
On my journey to civil war-torn Aleppo in Syria in December 2012, I reported in a personal documentation on a blog called NERDCORE.de, about an abandoned psychiatric clinic close to the inner city frontline that had been abandoned by its doctors. As in many parts of the city there was no regulated food supply, fuel for the ovens needed during the winter, medicine or simple hygiene products.
What Happened Next
Back in Germany I published my documentation in the Swiss magazine REPORTAGEN. I gave several radio interviews, in which I repeatedly described the circumstances of said clinic. As the first eye witness of the Syria conflict, I was invited by the German Bundestag Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid to talk about my experiences.
The attained publicity of my experiences garnered a surprisingly large amount of attention. Many readers and radio listeners contacted us independently to express their sympathy concerning my description of the clinic and repeatedly expressing a wish to help.
The Second Journey
Since some time now, I have been planning a further journey to Aleppo together with a friend who has been critically examining «Geopolitics of Private Security Companies» through his PhD. In addition to researching the current conditions in the country, our primary goal is also to revisit the clinic. The visit should investigate the current situation and result in concrete ways to aid the people there.
The journey is concretely planned, however a successful trip cannot be guaranteed since the situation in Syria is changing from day to day. We don’t want the realization of the project to be dependent on crowd-funding and we are also not asking for coverage of travel expenses (flight, logistics, translator, ecc.) but rather for help in co-funding missing equipment such as a ballistic vest with a helmet and a camera with video function.
Due to the difficult situation in the country, we would like to organize the aid action as direct and as independent as possible. Unfortunately all remote communication attempts have faltered until now, that is why we want to travel to the country ourselves, even if we will expose ourselves to real dangers; protective vests deliver minimal protection.
At location, the person currently in charge of the clinic will be identified and the best application of aid (medicine, food, clothing, blankets, ecc.) and its sustainability will be determined. The camera is necessary for the best possible documentation. A photo-and video documentation will show the situation in Aleppo and especially in the clinic. With the help of the images and the acquired insights we will then instigate a larger fundraiser.
Should the project be successful, any further funding collected through the campaign will be allocated 100% to travel expenses and the clinic; paying for food, medicine or an attempt to create sustainable, long-term aid structures.
It is known that the humanitarian situation in Syria is catastrophic. The people are not only suffering from the consequences of direct combat and displacement but also from increasing poverty, hunger and cold during the winter months. According to the current death toll, 90 000 Syrians have died as a result of conflict and more than 2 million had to flee to refugee camps with poor conditions. International aid efforts are not easily realized and often pose political quandaries.
We know that a self-organized relief program is only a drop in the bucket in a two-year war torn country such as Syria. However, the negative outlook for political assistance from the international community and the stagnation of the conflict leading to increasingly rigid fronts between the parties involved led us to organize some concrete support on a small scale; we don’t want to abandon the people there.
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All the photos you see here were taken during my first journey in December 2012. The entire slideshow is available here .
Weitere Fotos / Slideshow
Alle hier gezeigten Photos sind auf meiner ersten Reise im Dezember 2012 entstanden. Die ganze Serie gibt es hier in der Slideshow: