Abood Hamam laughs when asked – as an experienced studier of faces – to explain himself. The looks of his and the personality of his, he says, are formed by the war in the country of his that is already lasted 9 years.
“Whenever I look within the mirror, I am astonished by what white hair I’ve now,” he says. “And it is all due to the war and also the stress I have been living through.”
Abood is forty five. But he lives the life of his with a tightrope, in endless dread, risking everything to get the reality of what is going on in Syria to the entire planet.
He is most likely the sole photojournalist to have worked under each main pressure in the struggle – the Assad dictatorship, the opponent Free Syrian Army, the competitor Islamist organizations Jabhat al Nusra and Islamic State, and also the Kurdish controlled SDF.
“A picture is able to kill you, just like a picture is able to protect your life,” he states.
He feared his secretly taken photographs of rebel strikes in Damascus, at the start of the uprising, would get him murdered by the secret police, the Mukhabarat, in case they discovered what he was performing. At that stage the routine was keen to conceal the rebels’ raising military toughness.
And later, the camera skills of his might have really helped keep him alive if the Islamic State (IS) required him to capture the military parade celebrating the takeover of theirs of the home city of his, Raqqa.
Abood’s story that is amazing starts amid the moving areas around Raqqa – the topic of many of the pictures of his – exactly where his dad was a farmer.
“To be truthful, the society I were raised in, and in addition the parents of mine, they did not really appreciate photographers or perhaps journalism. They will have preferred me to become a teacher or perhaps a lawyer,” he says. “They concept photographers, it is a ridiculous job.”
But Abood became hooked when his elder brother gave him his very first digital camera, a Russian made Zenit.
He graduated from the School of Photography in Damascus, and finished up, prior to the uprising of 2011, as top of digital photography at the express information agency, Sana, a propaganda arm of the authorities.
Part of his job would be to capture the official comings as well as goings of President Bashar al Assad and the wife of his, Asma.
Despite the picture she developed as a down-to-earth First Lady, willing to speak and listen to regular folks, Abood states she and the husband of her never ever spoke to him in all of the precious time he hovered around them with the camera of his.