Getting the award comforts me a little, but it doesn’t compensate me or the Syrian people for the loss we had and the pain we lived. The award doesn’t compensate us for the land we fought to be free, says the Syrian photographer Waad Alkateab, after she received an Emmy award on October 6 for covering the news of Aleppo in a documentary called Inside Aleppo.
Waad, who presented different pictures on the life in Aleppo’s eastern neighborhoods last year, became part of these pictures when she and other civilians, who were forcibly displaced from these neighborhoods according to a settlement agreement, which has been followed by the regime’s control over the city backed by the Russian forces.
Aleppo on the big Screens of Emmy Award
Waad Alkateab worked for ‘Channel 4 News.’ She produced a number of news reports showing the different aspects of life in Aleppo. These reports have been collected in a single documentary that made her the owner of the ‘Best News Coverage’ in an international award.
The documentary shows some of the destruction, which befell Aleppo because of shelling, and some of the city’s people suffering under the lack of electricity, water and food.
In the margins of the film appears a group of children swimming in a hole caused by a barrel bomb, then water licked into it creating in them a sense of joy in contrast to what their parents had been feeling.
Waad also presented a number of reports from inside the field hospital where she lived accompanied by her husband, who is a doctor himself. Her masterpiece was made when she presented the suffering of a pregnant woman, who has been injured by a barrel bomb, forcing the doctors to get the injured baby through a caesarian section. The babe returned to life thanks to the huge efforts done by the doctors, according to Waad.
Her report, A New Life in a Dead City, received more than a million views instantly after it had been uploaded on YouTube when Waad resorted to it to trigger hope, expressing that life is going in the momentum of death.
The Syrian photographer’s reports were classified as some of the most convincing videos. Her lens transferred aspects of the lives of civilians which media ignored at a time when she never expected her reports to appear on the screen of Lincoln Center in New York, which announced her winning of the Emmy Award for 2017.
Activist since the Peaceful Movements
With the beginning of the peaceful movement in Syria in 2011, Waad chose to put her life on the line to transfer the anti-regime demonstration with her lens, trying to convey the voice of her people to the world, at a time when the regime tried to show a different image under the name of ‘foreign conspiracy.’
The Second Castle of Aleppo was her first experience in the field of documentaries. Through the film, she presented the revolutionary actions in the University of Aleppo in 2011. Back then, ‘Orient’ channel published the video, which was followed by other video reports carrying her name that appeared on both Orient and ‘AlArabiya’ channel.
Waad left the University of Aleppo, where she used to be a student, as the peaceful movement turned into an armed conflict. In 2012, she moved to Aleppo when the opposition factions controlled the city. She began publishing short films with simple tools through YouTube before moving to professional work with ‘Channel 4 News’ in 2015.
Waad thanked ‘Channel 4 News’ for its support and believing in her. To Enab Baladi, she said “There was harmony between us. We produced reports that are of much importance to me.”
However, the young woman, the daughter of Aleppo, considered that the people of her city deserve the international award for their patience and suffering though they believe that their battle is a lost one.
Syrians in the 2017’s Emmy Award
Waad was not the only Syrian to win the American Emmy Award for different tv programs, which is compared to the Oscars specialized with cinema, for the Syrian film Children of Syria was also presented on the big screen in a ceremony attended by western featured personalities.
The film, most of which was filmed by Syrian Journalists Association’s member Mahmoud al-Hajji Osman, won the 2017 International Emmy Award.
The film, which was produced in 2016, tells the story of four Syrian children who suffered from the siege in Aleppo and then fled to Germany via the sea. The film was shown on Frontline on the BBC.
During his speech to the Association, Osman expressed his pride for the strong presence of the Syrians in the Emmy Award, following the wining of Waad Al-Khatib, who was preceded by the Syrian Civil Defense (White Helmets).