A Bitter Eden


A Bitter Eden” for The New Yorker magazine

The fighting in the Raqqa has ended, but the people who fled ISIS’s control of the Syrian city are still unsure when they can go back. Some have traveled to Europe, but many more have sought refuge closer to home. In Yamouni, a small Lebanese village not far from the Syrian border, there are a few hundred Raqqawis who live in camps and work in the farmlands as they eagerly wait for the first opportunity to return to their homes.

The idea for this project came after seeing the work of Alia Haju, who has been visiting and photographing Yamouni for many years. We knew we wanted to film something there together, but we weren’t sure what the story would be. Then we met Hamadeh and his relatives.

Directed, filmed and edited by Matthew Cassel
Produced by Alia Haju

Equipment used: Sony A7SII, DJI Mavic Pro, Zhiyun Crane