I was reviewing old pictures and found a photograph I took in Syria at the old market in Homs in December 2008. I was there with the writer Andreas Ekström and at the time we lived in Homs. We visited the old market, which was a magical place. The markets magnificent light were shining from the roof and captured human guise for one second to quickly be replaced by another. The market was teeming with life and commerce.

Photo by Åsa Sjöström / MOMENT

Like so many others I often think of Syria, innocent people affected by the merciless war, journalists abducted and murdered for the freedom of speech. And special thoughts to our friends and colleagues Magnus Falkehed and Niklas Hammarström who was abducted in the end of November.

I also think about how beautiful I thought it was when I was there, the friendly people and how proud they were over the church and the mosque, which lay side by side on a small street in Homs.

Today the old market of Homs is a skeleton, bombed and abandoned. The beautiful light inlets from the roof are teared by bullet holes and shells. Only history will remind us of what it was before the war hit the city of Homs and a beautiful country in ruins. When I searched for the market on the internet, I found this tragic picture on a facebook-page created by young people in Homs who post pictures of their broken lives.

Photo from Lens young Homsi

– Åsa Sjöström