A newlywed Syrian couple have had their wedding photos taken in the decimated city of Homs, in order to “end sectarian discrimination from our society” and show “that life goes on” in the crippled nation.
On February 5, 18-year-old Nada Mehri and her groom Hassan Youssef, 27, decided to take their wedding pictures in the middle of Homs’ tragic ruins.
Homs – once a city with 600,000 people some 160 kilometres north of Syrian capital Damascus – became a rebel stronghold in 2011 and has been plundered mercilessly by government forces since.
It is now a shell of the city it once was, but nevertheless, one couple thought it would make an appropriate backdrop for their wedding photos.
The shoot was done by local photographer Jarar Meray, who has led a couple of similar shoots.
For example, one of his previous works was of a couple marrying in one of the city’s destroyed Orthodox churches.
However for this one, the couple and Mr Meray were accompanied by Agence France-Presse photographer Joseph Eid, who said he wanted to “show that life is stronger then death”, according to The Washington Post.
Mr Meray posted many of the pictures to his personal Facebook page and captioned them with messages of hope for the Syrian people.
Mr Youssef wore his military uniform for the shoot. He is a soldier in the Syrian army – the very army that pummelled Homs.
These airstrikes, artillery attacks and mortar and rocket offensives were aimed at ending the occupation of rebel groups in the city.
The rebels opposed the government and leadership of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Those rebel groups have now withdrawn from Homs after a United Nations-brokered ceasefire.
The images have gone viral since being published by media all over the world.