Syracuse University Magazine


Bassel Al Shahade, 1984-2012

Bassel Al Shahade was a gifted 28-year-old filmmaker and activist who longed to see freedom and democracy sweep across his native Syria. A Fulbright Scholar, the Damascus resident came to Syracuse to pursue an M.F.A. degree in film at the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Deeply committed to the revolution against the Syrian regime, he returned to his homeland late last year to cover the uprising as a citizen journalist and to teach others journalism and videography skills, posting their work on social media sites. On May 28, Shahade was killed in the war-torn city of Homs while filming attacks against the Syrian people by government security forces. News of his death was reported worldwide, and he was memorialized in his home country as well as other places around the globe. On campus, friends and other supporters gathered on the steps of Hendricks Chapel for a candlelight vigil in his memory. This fall, the University plans to hold a formal memorial service.



Before arriving in Syracuse, Bassel Al Shahade traveled from Syria to India on an old Russian motorcycle he called “Lenin.”  

Photos courtesy of Mireille Bakhos and SU Bassel’s Friends on Facebook

training.jpgWith the rebellion under way, Shahade returned to Syria and trained fellow activists in filming and editing video footage.

hendricks.jpgFollowing news of his death, Shahade was remembered by friends on the steps of Hendricks Chapel.