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Snapshots: A Syrian photographer captures life after the quakes

Shining a spotlight on northern Syria with one weekly photo of what matters to people on the ground.

Men walk on top of rubble that was left in the aftermath of the Syrian earthquake.
Even before the 6 February earthquakes, 2.9 million people in northwest Syria had already been displaced by war.

What does earthquake recovery look like in a place already ravaged by war? 


Find out for yourself with this weekly view from the ground in rebel-held northwest Syria. Each week, photographer Moawia Atrash shares one photo that represents what life is like now in a place hit hard by the 6 February earthquakes.


Check back with “Snapshots” to see all the photos, and to listen to Atrash explain why they matter to him, as The New Humanitarian looks to keep the spotlight on the region – which was already in dire need of aid – long after other cameras have moved on.


Atrash's comments have been condensed for length and clarity.


Week of 12 March 2023

This week marks 12 years since the start of Syria’s war, highlighting the fact that the earthquakes have compounded an already desperate humanitarian situation. Nearly 60,000 people made homeless by the quakes are reported to be staying in newly set up displacement sites, and the humanitarian assessment NGO REACH says their most urgent needs are winter supplies, shelter, and cash.


For a novel perspective, Atrash turns his lens towards Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel, best known as the “cat man of Aleppo”, who has been busy rescuing and caring for pets trapped under the rubble. 



Week of 5 March 2023

One month on from the quakes, aid has begun to reach rebel-held northwest Syria, but large-scale reconstruction in the near future looks increasingly unlikely.

Atrash takes his camera to a village in Idlib province that was hit hard by Syrian government bombing in past years. Now, most of the village’s residents are sleeping in tents. 



Week of 26 February 2023

Two weeks after the catastrophic earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, the death toll climbs towards 50,000. With search and rescue efforts ending, the focus shifts towards getting aid to the millions who have lost their homes, jobs, and loved ones in the middle of winter. 


Atrash visits a town in the northern outskirts of Aleppo province that was almost completely destroyed in the quakes.



Edited by Ciara Lee and Annie Slemrod.

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