Yalla Habibi.
Living with War in Aleppo.


Photographs by Hosam Katan. Texts by Anne-Marie Beckmann, Mohammad Khair Hak, Mohammed al-Khatib, Hassan Katan, Hosam Katan and Carsten Stormer.
Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, 2018. 152 pp., 72 color illustrations, 9½x12½x1".



Publisher's Description

Katan shows us men, women, and children who refuse to have their lives and dignity stripped away by war.

Yalla Habibi – Living with War in Aleppo gives recognition to people in Eastern Aleppo who have continued their everyday lives with resilience and inventiveness amidst perilous circumstances. The pictures from Hosam Katan’s hometown, taken between 2013 and 2015, capture moments of the conflicting and contrasting experiences and emotions of these people. Anger ,joy, grief, fear, adventurousness, desperation, determination, solidarity, defiance, fatigue,  excitement – having to live with war all of these emotions can change in an instant.

The book shows people balancing the horrors of war with a sense of normalcy and trying to retain their dignity. Although the news coverage of the conflict in Syria, and especially from Aleppo, has waned, it is important to keep up the dialog because the conflict is far from being over. “Yalla Habibi (Come on my dear),” as people would say in Arabic.

The book is dedicated to to the German photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who died in 2014.

Yalla Habibi is also part of my own story. Growing up in Aleppo I could never have imagined that one day war would break out in my country. It was when I had just turned 17 in 2011 that I experienced the beginning of the protests against the Assad regime. I saw people with a genuine belief in a Syrian revolution to establish democracy and more freedom in their country. When the regime answered protests with brute force, I decided to pick up my camera. I felt the responsibility to document what was happening around me. As many international news organizations were pulling out of the country for security reasons, I realized the importance of not letting the events and people in Aleppo go unseen. Security has also been an issue for my work and in May 2015 I almost ran out of luck. I was shot by a sniper of the regime. After treatment in Turkey, however, I returned to Aleppo and continued my life and work there until the end of 2015.” – Hosam Katan


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