Ameer Alhalbi (Walid Mashhadi)

Photographer, Syria

Ameer Alhalbi (Walid Mashhadi) © Ismail Abdel Rahman

2017, 2nd prize stories, Spot News

2017, 2nd prize stories, Spot News

2017, 2nd prize stories, Spot News

2017, 2nd prize stories, Spot News

Ameer Alhalbi (Walid Mashhadi) was born in 1996 in Aleppo, Syria, and began taking pictures when he was 18.

He started contributing pictures to AFP in February 2016. His photography career began in 2014 when he started working with local media centers, and then with the local sniper photo site, moving on to working with the Palestinian APA images, and Italian NUR photos with the aim of showing what is happening in Syria to the world. Many of his friends completed their studies in Turkey or immigrated to Germany. He continued to work in Aleppo until leaving in December 2016.

He was wounded by two bullets during a peace protest in April 2012 and his father, Mohammed Mashhadi, was wounded in 2015 during his work with the Civil Defence team and later was killed in bombardment in July 2016 in Aleppo. His cousin Louay Mashhadi was wounded last year as well, as he also works for the Civil Defence.

Ameer's daily life revolves around working with the Syrian Civil Defence teams since 2014 and he’s pessimistic about an end to the war in Syria. “Daily life in Aleppo includes no entertainment, no coffe shops or restaurants to go to. It’s the most dangerous city in the world,” he told AFP blogs. Walid has applied for asylum to France to study.

Editor's note: Ameer Alhalbi’s real name is Walid Mashhadi. Because of the security situation in Syria, he was permitted to enter the contest using a pseudonym to protect his identity and safeguard his family. Now that Ameer has left Syria, he is able to use his real name.

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WORLD PRESS PHOTO INVOLVEMENT

Ameer Alhalbi (Walid Mashhadi) on Twitter