Syrian men carry a young girl rescued from between the rubble of a destroyed building following a government air strike on the rebel-held town of Douma.
Sameer Al-Doumy, is a freelance Syrian photographer born in Douma. He uses an alias for security reasons. Before the beginning of the war, he was a middle school student focused on his studies and his dream of becoming a doctor. He was in 8th grade when the peaceful uprising started in 2011, but slowly the demonstrations spread and reached his hometown of Douma. His older siblings started documenting the events and uploading videos to the Internet and, as the conflict intensified, he began to help them. In the middle of 2012, the Syrian regime forces besieged Douma from all sides and began attacking it. The shelling and bombing prevented him from getting to school on the day of his final exams and caused him to fail that year. Security circumstances prevented him from attending school for a whole year, but he eventually managed to continue high school. For three years, he put his life in danger by filming what was happening for a local publication. He gained a lot of experience, though, and journalism became his passion and interest. In 2014, he became interested in photography and started browsing the Internet for tutorials to learn more. He began working with AFP at the end of 2014 where he began working under a pseudonym to protect himself and his family members.