When the Syrian conflict began in 2011, al-Masri was a law student in his hometown of Aleppo. He began taking mobile telephone photos of anti-regime demonstrations so the world could see what was happening there. Soon, he bought a professional camera to better capture images of the suffering wrought by the war.
In 2013, he became a freelance photographer for the AFP. His ethics, news judgment and commitment quickly helped him transform from a talented citizen journalist into a trusted professional.
When there was a near-complete break in the pipeline of news out of the embattled city, he persisted in showing the world the truth of what was happening there.
Al-Masri’s mother was killed in a barrel-bomb attack. His aunt and uncle perished in another attack, and al-Masri was kidnapped and held for six months by the ISIS. And yet, he continued his work through the siege of Aleppo, when almost no news made it out of the city.
He is currently based in France, where he moved this year to seek asylum.
Please join us at our Awards Dinner on Nov. 9, when al-Masri will receive the Knight International Journalism Award.