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Samar Baltaji Maher Attar photo story

Stories and News No. 1086

It was 1985.
In Beirut, between war and war.
On a civil and uncivilized, tolerated and intolerable, far and more than ever closer one.
Because that’s what men against men brings.
It confuses the opposites, in the violent mixture of hatred and blood.
On the background, you can see Samar, inside the

veracity of black and
white, contrasts of the past and, despite the illusion of colour, also today.
With the woman, there was a girl child.
With her, a glance full of dignity and pride, despite the wounds.
With both, the still warm shadows of the massacre.
Despite the left leg prematurely erased by the worst editor in the world, that is, the dull war, yet, still it, always it.
On the other side of the lens, there was Maher.
A thief of images, but a good one.
An atypical version of Robin Hood, which steals memory where all want to disintegrate it, and then he gives it to posterity.
So that they see the day after what has passed in vain under the eyes of the protagonists.
In fact, the pitcher of remembrances in the bottle among the waves of the future was blocked immediately after taking possession of that precious piece of lived history.
Everything was about to be lost, when Samar herself made her choice.
Let him take this moment of mine.
Let it survive this time.
Let it go.
The significant portrait found the right way to the rooms that matter, and the woman with the girl child in the rubble of Beirut became front page in the New York Times.
In the following years, other papers were sold and burned.
Other future was slaughtered, other wasted opportunities.
Nonetheless, the journey of the little ones went on between bags of cardboard and cardboards in the form of a bag, between present without future and future without a past, between citizens turned into refugees and refuges without a city as a home.
Because this is what the feud between human and human does, if it stealthily repeats, over and over again.
It turns things around, changing their names, but every time you carefully look at them, you always see the same face of those who just wanted to walk without fear.
It’s 2018, now.
Thirty-three years later, again in Lebanon, Beirut.
In the middle of the drawing, there's still her, Samar.
With her, Maher, the stealer of living souvenirs. With him, the kept
promise, not to forget and, above all, not to make forget.
With both, the difficult existences of entire peoples who are lost and find themselves among the remaining pictures and words.
Along with the hope for all the fragments that are still torn away from the heart of the world to embrace again, no matter where, maybe in a photo.
Because, as Samar confided to Maher, sometimes I sit on the balcony and think and I begin to cry. And then I think I’m lucky to be alive and I go back to being patient…

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