It looks like a film set. The disheveled bed, the rubble on the floor, the tattered yellow window coverings—everything so perfectly and terribly broken. And then there is the man and his pipe, listening to his record player. This is Aleppo.
The man, identified as Mohammed Mohiedin Anis, and also known as Abu Omar, is a collector of vintage cars. This photograph from March 9 has since gone viral, widely shared as a haunting counterpart to the typical images of children bearing the brunt of this war, about to enter its seventh year.
This is not the first time we’ve met Abu Omar. In early 2016 Karam al-Masri of Agence France-Presse filed a moving story about him, when he lived in the rebel-held neighborhood of al-Shaar and had 30 cars to his name. But as the war devolved, shifting control last year from the rebels to the government after a brutal battle, so did the collection.
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