Katy Gómez

SYRIA, THE OASIS GONE DRY

The international community is an impotent, tolerant witness to its own degradation and failure. Neither photographs of people fleeing from a world stained with darkness and suffering, nor children breathing their last at the gates of Europe, move us any longer. Perhaps our senses are anaesthetised because we have got used to seeing, shutting up and permitting.

It is hard to imagine that Syria – just a few years ago – was a spectacularly beautiful country, aside from the passing of time, where history and culture left their mark of dignity. Friendly, smiling people who invited you to converse unhurriedly over a delicious tea.

The pictures in this series were taken in September 2010, just months before the barbarism began. These photographs enable us to touch the emotion of a memory to take us back to a Syria in peace. A halo of hope, which today more than ever recalls the verses by the writer Mark Twain: “...No recorded event has occurred in the world, but Damascus was in existence to receive the news of it. Go back as far as you will into the vague past, there was always a Damascus. She has looked upon the dry bones of a thousand empires and will see the tombs of a thousand more before she dies.”

The Innocents Abroad, 1869.