Finalist, Rory Peck Award for NewsSponsored by Rory Peck Award for News

Fadi Al Halabi and Adham Al Hussen (Syrian )

April 2017, Syria

Syria: Gasping for Life in Khan Sheikhoun

Self-funded. Footage licensed from Aleppo Media Centre (AMC). Broadcast by CNN.

On 4th April 2017, a chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Northern Syria, killed 92 people, including 33 children, leading to the first US airstrikes against the regime of Bashar al Assad. One month later, CNN broadcast this never-before seen footage of the immediate aftermath of the attack, shot by Syrian freelancers Fadi Al Halabi and Adham Hussen who braved extremely difficult conditions to document, in un-varnished close-up, the horrific effects of the attack on the town’s men, women and children. They also capture scenes of chaos at the local hospital and show devastated families burying their loved ones.  

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Fadi began his career as a freelance photojournalist in 2011 after covering the war in his hometown of Aleppo, Syria. He is one of the founders of the Aleppo Media Centre (AMC), a widely used source of news inside the province since 2012. From 2013 to 2016, Fadi worked as a freelance photographer for Agence France Presse, amongst others. His documentary credits include the Academy Award winning ‘The White Helmets’ for Netflix and ‘‘Last Men in Aleppo’. 

Adham, a freelance photojournalist from Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, has worked for local media outlets such as the AMC and the SMRAT news agency, as well as larger organisations Anadolu Agency and TRT World.

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Judges Comments

“This work is in effect chronicling a suspected war crime. It’s comprehensive coverage, from the moment the chemical lands to the grave. They were shooting for posterity. To be unflinching and keep your head in a situation like that is so impressive.  It was really powerful. Though this award recognises strong camerawork, it was brave for CNN to broadcast their work unblurred, in the raw. It was really powerful.”