The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
For the first time in the UAE, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders-MSF), in collaboration with Alliance Francaise and the French Business Council, is hosting “Healing Wounds,” a photo exhibition highlighting the stories of patients treated at the MSF Reconstructive Surgery Hospital in Amman, Jordan.
The hospital was set up in 2006 in response to the high numbers of severely injured people MSF saw during the Iraq war. Since then the hospital has grown to serve patients from across the region, including Syria, Palestine and Yemen.
The photos were taken by award-winning Italian photographer and journalist Alessio Mamo in 2017. He visited the hospital every day for a month to build up relationships with the patients. In 2018, he won the World Press Photo, second prize singles, People category, with his picture of Manal, a young Iraqi girl hospitalised there.
Alexandre Crubezy, MSF Country Representative in Jordan, said, “What has struck me since I began as Country Representative last year is the amount of humanity that pours out of the programme. The humanity of the hospital staff, all focused on the patients’ well-being, all the compassion coming out in the daily work and the constant search for improvement. The humanity of the patients themselves, of course, as they deal with extreme experiences, but still get up and carry on living, still looking forward for a better life, still hoping in the future. What is interesting to observe too are the links that the programme creates between people who were not meant to meet, and the way they find empathy in their conditions. This is what Alessio and Marta have managed to remarkably highlight through their work, and they need to be thanked for that.”
The MSF also screened a short documentary in the theatre of the Alliance Francaise Dubai building ahead of the official launch of the photo exhibition. This unique documentary tells the story of a Yemeni patient who was treated at the hospital and today lives with his family in Amman. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Alessio Mamo, alongside Dr Rasheed Al-Sammarraie, Head of Reconstructive Surgery at the Amman Hospital, Alexandre Crubezy, and Marta Bellingreri, co-author of the exhibition.
Commenting on the exhibition, Alliance Française Dubai Director Bernard Frontero said, “We are very glad to host the photographic exhibition “Healing Wounds” at La Galerie of the Alliance Française Dubai, especially during the UAE’s Year of Tolerance.”
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