AMMAR ABD RABBO To Beirut...
In tribute to the Lebanese people and with deep compassion, Ayyam Gallery is pleased to present To Beirut..., a charity exhibition featuring, Ammar Abd Rabbo’s latest photographs from August fourth’s tragedy. Together with the artist’s generosity, we are donating 75% of the proceeds to Beit El Baraka’s mission to rebuild and help the vulnerable.
Throughout my career as a photojournalist, I’ve faced difficult and emotional moments. Whether it be shots of torn families, besieged cities, or destroyed homes, it was never my neighborhood. For the first time, the atrocity and destruction took place in a very familiar environment. Of course, I felt compelled to capture what was going on.
In just a few seconds, friends were lost, families were separated, people were wounded, and not to mention the material devastation. We all bear scars from August Fourth. Fortunately, I wasn’t in Lebanon during the blast. I can only empathize with the shock everyone lived through and survived. I made sure to take the next flight into Beirut.
Here is a selection of the scenes and moments I captured; trying to mask the explosion, I avoided shots of the injured and vulnerable. The large scale shots not only show the immensity of the catastrophe but are also abstracting the situation. Creating incredible images straight out of Sci-Fi movies such as ‘Mad Max’ and ‘Planet of the Apes.’ I just wish those were also fiction rather than Beirut’s reality.
I believe photographs remain when people separate, dictators fly away, loved ones leave, images are witnesses. They are a constant reminder of the past, a reality we cannot deny, an issue we have to address. We cannot hide moments we’ve witnessed.
Dearest Beirut, I wholeheartedly hope for all your wounds to heal, all scars to fade, all houses to be rebuilt, all businesses to revive, and that from this tragedy, only these photographs remain.
To Beirut, with Love...
Ammar Abd Rabbo