Your final destination? Damascus, Syria, photo essay by Varvara Shinkarenko
[I]t’s been long 9 years since my last visit to a beautiful country named Syria. The country which gave me wonderful friends, stories. The country that brought me my destiny. Time after time, I come back to my photo archive dated back to 2008, I’m going through this and all my sweet memories become more vivid and clear. I would love to share a piece of my Syria, the way I saw it and felt it back then, with people out there. Those people who might have never visited it yet (!), or the ones who had a chance to see it or live there. For those ones who might be now far from their motherland or those people who stayed in Syria and have to go through all these horrors of conflict. No matter what, I believe one thing unites all those people – deep love for this magnificent country, its culture , its heritage. You won’t find pain or sorrow depicted in my pictures. I want good memories to win. And they will.
The land of Syria knew a lot of ups and downs through its history but, no matter what, it’s still alive, still full of hope and belief.
Even after the darkest of nights, there’s always a brighter morning. Syria will break through its dark days. I believe in Syria and in its wonderful, full of strength people.
P.S. the picture with a boy wearing a red hat and standing on his own.
This is Khaldoon. I met Khaldoon back in 2008 in Palmyra, Syria. On a warm November day, he was out selling postcards printed with Palmyra images. He had to work to make some money to buy food for his mother and younger siblings.
I’ve never met him since then, nor have I visited Syria again. But recently i got a message from one of Khaldoon’s best friends, he told me Khaldoon was in a safe place, but sadly, he had lost some of his family.
“I know every corner here. Everyone dreams to visit Palmyra, but I live here. This is my home” – Khaldoon, Palmyra, 2008.