A Message from Issa Touma

This message from Issa Touma was first published on the Open Show website:

Aleppo 28 September 2012

I like to inform  all our friends the following: we still working in Aleppo in Aleppo international photo festival and Art Camping , we know well many from Population of the city leave out and almost  most of the intellectuals runaway. Me myself I become half refugee, because I lost my home from 27 of August after lot of shooting enter from all windows into my Home, but thanks God I still  have a place to stay .

Last night Aleppo never sleeps, smoke come into every House and every rooms … and many die from that, every morning we  wake up to see if our friend and family still alive, and to count how many we lost .

In other way Aleppo Festival working well also Art Camping, after all give to all feeling of safe and Hope, and nice memory about the old days, the reality is after all Bombing most of the population still in the city.

Thanks to all artist and intellectuals and blogs and international magazine who helping to show life in the war zone: Syria: a Culture of Peace in Time of War.

Yesterday Sep 27  at 5pm started big war between 2 Army , with lot of bombing into the  Christian Aria, center of the city , which become a mix aria now after the Refugees from around Aleppo come into  the center to use the empty houses and basements. All together have no corner to hide or to run away any more, it’s in the middle of the Black smoke around all the city.

After very successful week, I open my Gallery door for the Festival Visitors also at 5pm, after waiting some time, a Popular woman come into the gallery and ask: can I see the show? I love Art  but I never have chance to visit Art gallery before Her name was Ateya , she was today our only visitor , but for me her courage to come to see Art was like opening day.

Now its 12am and still the Black smoke around us, it’s the day of the bad dreams.

And hope to meet again soon in peace



The original post on the Aleppo International Photography Festival and Art Camping is here.


My thanks to the artist Diane Mantzaris for forwarding this message to me.


Issa Touma (image from Open Show website)
© Manu Brabo (Associated Press) Aleppo last week. (detail from full image) More images here.


One Response to “A Message from Issa Touma”
  1. Jim and Sue Dooley says:

    Issa’s courage is amazing. His words are felt with great feeling. Our hope is for his safety and for him to be able to continue with his vision for helping others through art and photography.

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  • The majority of the texts on this site are by Alasdair Foster and represent his opinions. However, in order to facilitate a useful diversity of views, some texts have been invited from artists and colleagues around the world, while others appear as independent comments. These opinions and comments are not necessarily those of Alasdair Foster or Cultural Development Consulting (CDC). All data and information on this site is provided on an as-is basis. While every effort is made to be as thorough as possible, neither Alasdair Foster nor CDC make representations as to accuracy, completeness, currency, suitability or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.
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