الاعتيادي الغير معتاد

Normal Abnormal

Abd Doumany

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After seven years of brutal war in Syria, nothing remained in the shape or form which we were accustomed to. With poverty, death, shelling, killings, and destruction becoming elements of daily life for civilians, much of the ‘ordinary’ has become non existent. Instead, there are surreal scenes where dead children’s bodies are placed in swings while they wait for burial; plastic bags are used as window shields; guns are brought to football fields; fridges become storage spaces; and curtains are used as shrouds for the dead.

This series of images captured in both Syria’s rebel-held and government besieged town of Douma, shows how in adjusting to the daily life of war, what would have seemed unimaginable a few years ago has become a daily mundane occurrence. The people of Douma are left with no options but to use whatever objects they can find and adjust to the surrounding environment. Those in exile are also forced to adapt to new ways of living.

With this project, I am to show people outside of Syria the daily reality of people living in besieged areas, and in exile. Through images, I want to show the day-to-day scenarios that get little or no coverage in mainstream media.

Syria and Turkey

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Syrian children react as they watch a play organized by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent under a psychological support program they run in the besieged town of Eastern Ghouta. December 31, 2015.

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An empty street and shelling dust was taken immediately after an airstrike. October 29, 2015.

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A sink in Douma's morgue after a massacre by the regime's shelling. Douma's morgue was a kindergarten before the war. September 7, 2016.

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Leaflets dropped by Syrian regime planes, which call for reconciliation and unity, fall on the rebel-held town of Douma, east of the capital Damascus. June 13, 2016.

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A body wrapped in shrouds is seen lying on a children's slide at a makeshift morgue following reported air strikes on the rebel-held town of Douma. April 23, 2016.

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An enormous fire blazes following several airstrikes targeting the city of Douma. September 11, 2015.

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People walk through Douma's maini market following airstrikes targeted the area. February 5, 2015.

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Syrian children celebrate Muslim Eid in a building's basement. The space was prepared by Douma's local council in order to provide a safe space for children to play. July 7, 2016.

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The mother of 30-year-old Ziad, who was arrested by Syrian regime forces five years ago, sits alone on a beach in Trabzon, Turkey. Waiting to hear any news about her son, Samirah never loses hope of seeing him again, although she has heard rumors of his torture and death in prison. Thousands of Syrian mothers whose sons were arrested suffer the same. October 23, 2017.

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A Syrian man stands next to the body of a child lying on the ground following a reported air strike by government forces in the rebel-held town of Douma, east of the Syrian capital Damascus. November 7, 2015.

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The shoes of a victim filled with personal belongings are seen at a makeshift hospital following a cluster bomb attack on the rebel-held town of Douma. October 24, 2016.

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Relatives and neighbors of missing people under the rubble of a destroyed building look on as they wait for rescue teams looking for survivors. Sometimes, the process of searching for survivors and bodies takes days. June 16, 2016.

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A boy cleans the bloody floor of a makeshift hospital in Douma. July 2, 2016.

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A Syrian woman holds her grandchildren as they wait for treatment at a makeshift hospital in Douma, following airstrikes that targeted a crowded neighborhood. March 15, 2015.

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Syrian people prepare to bury the body of a victim who was killed by an airstrike in the layered cemetery of Douma. December 11, 2016.

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The shadow of a gun that belongs to a football player is seen in a playground, as Syrians watch a local football league in the town of Hamouria in the Eastern Ghouta region. January 23, 2017.

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Syrian farmers harvest their crops at night to avoid the risk and daily shelling. Syrian regime forces often bomb agricultural fields at harvest time. June 15, 2016.

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Syrian Civil Defense members try to extinguish a huge fire caused by air raids in Douma's market. November 16, 2016.

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A man reacts as he looks at the body of his daughter, who was killed following air raids Syrian government forces in Douma. August 24, 2015.

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This photo was taken in my temporary room. As a Syrian refugee living in Turkey, leaving the war doesn't end the suffering. Horrible memories and flashbacks are nightmares I have to face every day before going to bed. Istanbul, Turkey. November 20, 2017.

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Syrian people try to identify the bodies of victims who were killed by airstrikes on the main market in Douma. Over 120 people were killed that day. August 15, 2015.

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This photo was taken at one of the rebel points on the Jobar frontline, showing a damaged wall and what remained of a fighter's lunch meal. September 6, 2016.

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Samirah, a 55-year old woman whose son Ziad was arrested by Syrian regime forces five years ago, cries at night as she looks at Ziad's photo on her mobile phone. She has been suffering from chronic insomnia since November 2012, when her son was arrested and never heard from again. Her sight was severely affected by what doctors call 'psychological trauma' - her optic nerve was damaged. One of her eyes is almost blind. Samirah is my mom.

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A Syrian youth holds the body of his sister as he waits for a place to bury her in the Douma cemetery after air raids by Syrian government forces. August 22, 2015.

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A trench dug by the people of Nashabiya to be used as safe passage during the shelling. April 13, 2016.

Abd Doumany

Syria and Turkey

Abd Doumany, born in 1990, is a Syrian freelance photographer, born in the Syrian capital of Damascus and based in Douma. Before the war broke out, Doumany was completing his medical studies to become a dentist. Since the Syrian uprising, he has been documenting the conflict through all its phases. Doumany started his career in photojournalism as a freelance photographer in 2013, covering and storytelling from inside his besieged town of Douma. Doumany has one several prizes for his photography including World Press Photo twice, in 2016 and 2017, the Days in Japan International Photojournalism Award, the Istanbul Photo Award, and Pictures of the Year International, POYI.

www.instagram.com/abd_doumany