Ghaith Abd al-Jawad

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Al-Jawad documented clashes and protests for the Qaboun Media Center, a group of opposition citizen journalists who film clashes in the neighborhood of Qaboun and publish the unattributed videos online, according to international broadcaster Al-Jazeera and the local press freedom group Syrian Journalists Association.

Al-Jawad, who was known locally as "Abu Teem," was killed with Amr Badir al-Deen Junaid, the head of the Qaboun Media Center, by a mortar shell fired by pro-Assad forces in Qaboun, according to Shaam News Network and other reports. The Qaboun Media Center posted a video of a shell landing close to one of its other photographers, who was uninjured, on the same day. Qaboun and surrounding neighborhoods on the outskirts of Damascus witnessed intense fighting that day.

There were conflicting reports on the circumstances surrounding al-Jawad's death. The Syrian Journalists Association said al-Jawad was hit while on his way to cover civilians in a makeshift hospital injured by shelling from pro-Assad forces. But Al-Jazeera said he was hit while filming shelling in the area. Neither source provided further details.

The Qaboun Media Center has published hundreds of videos since it established its YouTube account in July 2011. Similar media centers have sprung up all across Syria as citizen journalists and opposition activists document how the unrest has affected their communities. The Qaboun Media Center's videos have been broadcast by local and international news outlets, including the New York Times, Al-Jazeera, and the Daily Mail.

The documentation provided by citizen journalists has been crucial in the international understanding of the Syrian conflict because of extreme government restrictions and danger that prevent widespread news media coverage.

According to Baraa al-Shami, a member of a network of opposition groups in Damascus called the Revolution Leadership Council, al-Jawad had worked for the Qaboun Media center through the uprising and civil war and had filmed battles and protests in the outskirts of suburbs. Pictures of al-Jawad's burial depicted a Qur'an and video camera resting on his body.

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