The survival of a camera loaded with Life

by Rand Abou Fakher*,
shoot4change, April 30 2016.

Sultan Kitaz is a Syrian freelance
photographer from Aleppo. Six months ago he arrived in Belgium with a
camera loaded with stories of more than 4 years of war.

Four attempts it took him and his
camera to cross the Mediterranean Sea by a rubber boat. Three times
the Turkish police caught the group of refugees of which he was part. 

One time the trafficker even left him behind in the forest.

After that he arrived to the Greek
Island of Mytilini, alive and well. 

He then slogged through south
Europe, trying to cross the borders.

After weeks of walking he arrived in
Hungary. Here the police put him together with hundreds of other
refugees in busses, the windows darkened, without food or water, for
a degrading 16 hours until they sent them to the border with Austria.
From this point, the trip to Belgium was not so difficult anymore. On
the first of October, he arrived in Brussels with his camera that had
so many stories to tell.

Since the beginning of the Syrian
crisis Sultan was driven to photograph scenes of the conflict that
surrounded him. Soon he started corresponding with channels and

In 2012 he bought a professional
camera and started publishing his photos on the social media. A photo
he took one year later got published in many newspapers and went
viral on the social media, still being an amateur photographer

Several international press agencies
contacted him. 

Until he left Syria in August 2015, he freelanced for

Today Sultan is seeking to pick up the
thread as a photographer in Belgium. 

He started photographing in the
streets and also he is photographing as a volunteer with the
association SB
that provides
psychological helps for refugee kids.

On his own, he is trying to learn

I started photographing at the age of
twenty. Today I achieved a reasonably good level… 

So where will I
be in ten years from now? I seem to be fairly talented, I believe in
my abilities and I am ambitious. Despair is a word I banned from my

He wants to talk about his life, about
four years suffering. He also wants to be part of the new society he
came into, sharing ideas and a view on life that is quite close to

* Who is Rand Abou Fakher

I grew up in Swaida, a small and
peaceful city, with a more than one thousand year old history.

At the age of eighteen I moved to
Damascus to study music and sound engineering in the Higher Institute
for Music and Dramatic Arts. Because of the continuous attacks to the
old city center and to the school, I quit after one and a half year.
I started teaching to make a living.

In August 2015 I saw no other option
then leaving my homeland.

On the shore of Turkey I stepped in a
rubber boat, like many had done before me and many more would do
after me, well aware of the danger.

Landing on the beach of Greece after 5
hours was a huge relief. 

There we started walking through Europe,
heading for Belgium.

I want to complete my studies and to
go to school without being scared.

Belgium offers such a freedom of
choices for how to make your life here. Brussels has already become
my city.
I met Sultan at SP
, where we both
work as volunteers helping refugee kids.