One photo really is worth a thousand words and, at times, a thousand tears.
In an article published today by Spain’s El País (International), the photographer Joseph Eid holds a photo of the great Arch of Triumph of Palmyra taken back in 14 March 2014 against the very same landscape today. Daesh (aka ISIS) has been systematically destroying and looting Syrian and Iraqi sites, and the aforementioned 3rd century Arch of Triumph is no exception: it was destroyed in the 2015 offensive.
Photos like this bring to mind memories of destroyed heritage sites in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and elsewhere in the Middle East; an eerie reminder of a human condition that could be described borrowing Kundera’s words: ‘the unbearable lightness of being’. These images leave me feeling an emptiness as profound as the void left by the dynamited Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan; a pain exceeded only by the daily news about refugees and migrants fleeing for their life and risking it all because they have nothing left to lose.
You can watch more photos here.