Good news from Syria are rare -to say the least!- so it was a true relief to see photog & friend William Daniels return safely to Paris with wounded journalist Edith Bouvier (especially after days without news from them since their video asking for her evacuation to safety).
Today, days only after escaping Syria, William is talking about their ordeal -and it is harrowing! After escaping from the bomb blast which killed Remi Ochlik and Marie Colvin and seriously wounded Edith, William spent days hiding in apartments and cellars in Homs -under constant shelling by Al Assad’s army forces. While trying to find ways to escape and get Edith to a hospital, the Syrian rebels did all they could to help them. They tried to evacuate Edith on a stretcher through a tunnel but found themselves cut-off by the Syrian army’s bombing. The civilians and the rebels fled to safety and the two journalists were left totally alone in the dark tunnel, without any way to escape (Edith couldn’t be moved by a single man). Luckily, a Syrian rebel came back to their rescue with a scooter and they barely made it out. It was back to square one, but they just couldn’t wait anymore, so they chose the most dangerous way to escape Homs and the country: they headed for the border by car, at night, hoping to avoid the Syrian army’s lines! William describes the awfulness of daily life in Homs (with the bombing, the snipers and the lack of food and water), and pays tribute to the Syrian people, which he calls heroes, and for whom the nightmare continues… While the Western world politics watches on, doing shit.
Update (March 9) : While William’s photographs made the cover of Time Magazine (!) as they published his first images -which can be seen on Time’s website-, NPR radio also interviewed him (in english!).
William, I’m glad you made it out ok, and that you found enough strength to help your colleagues and are now able to tell the truth about what’s going on inside Syria. Be safe and don’t forget what we talked about in NYC ;) A few months ago, William was in NYC to meet clients and check out the city, so we got some time to chat about his work, especially Haiti and Libya, and about how he felt -which is rare- covering those conflict zones…
FRANCAIS : Vous le savez, William Daniels est rentré à Paris avec Edith Bouvier, la journaliste blessée à Homs, en Syrie. Après l’explosion d’un obus qui a tué deux autres journalistes, Marie Colvin et Rémi Ochlik, le retour de William et d’Edith est enfin une bonne nouvelle au milieu de ce cauchemar. Et aujourd’hui, en attendant que les politiciens occidentaux retrouvent enfin leurs ‘cojones’ et oublient ces pathétiques querelles de parti pour s’occuper réellement de cette atroce situation, William a expliqué ce qui s’est passé à Homs et ce que c’est de vivre sous les bombes.