Al-Hamwi died of shrapnel wounds he sustained while filming government
shelling of the Qaboun district of Damascus on February 5, according to local news reports
and the Beirut-based press freedom organization Samir Kassir Foundation.
He was hit in the eye by a piece of shrapnel in the mortar
strike, the reports said. He was hospitalized in a coma for almost two weeks before
The journalist, who was also popularly known as “Ghias
Shami,” began filming and documenting the conflict in Syria when the
uprising began in March 2011, news reports said.
He covered protests and clashes between the Syrian government and rebel forces.
Al-Hamwi contributed footage to the Qaboun Media Center, a
group of opposition citizen journalists who film clashes in the neighborhood of
Qaboun and publish the unattributed videos online. The center has published hundreds of videos
since it established its YouTube account
in July 2011. Its videos have been broadcast by local and international news
outlets, including the New York Times, Al-Jazeera,
and the Daily Mail.
Al-Hamwi was arrested in May 2012 and spent approximately
nine months at an Air Force Intelligence Branch prison near Damascus, local reports said. He graduated
from the School of Journalism at Damascus University.