- 0% INTRIGUED
- 0% BORED
- 0% THRILLED
- 0% SAD
Bassel Al Shahade, a 28-year-old graduate student at Syracuse University was killed while filming the continuous violence in his homeland of Syria.
Originally from Damascus, Shahade was pursuing his masters of fine arts at Syracuse’s College of Visual and Performing Arts as a Fullbright Scholar.
Film professor and a mentor of Shahde, Owen Shapiro, says that Shahade was very aware of the potential danger he was entering, but was determined to tell the story of his country.
"Shahade said: 'I have to be with my people. I can't be here with what's going on in Syria.’”
While reporting for Democracy Now! Shahade whispered in fear of being heard, “Thousands of detainees are still in the prisons. Among them are tens of my friends. They are not terrorists. They are filmmakers, journalists, doctors, lawyers. They are very high intellectual people and activists,” reports MSNBC.
Shapiro learned the news of Shahade’s death from both a fellow graduate student in the Gaza Strip and from officials of Fullbright.
According to his friend Amer Matar, Shahade began his activism even before the uprisings began about 15 months ago—before Syrians had a way to demand or express opposition to the government.
These two friends also organized a protest in solidarity with the Egyptians during their revolution, which was broken up by security forces. Matar says that Shahade had previously made another film about issues women faced in Syria as well.
Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor reveals that plans are being made to memorialize Shahade on campus.
"We hope and expect that growing international outrage, and yesterday's condemnation of the Syrian government by the U.N. Security Council will create a more peaceful and nonviolent path to freedom for the people of Syria."