The photographs were taken by Syrian – Italian photographer Ibrahim Malla, and show the realities of the lives of Syrian people and the volunteers in the country, many of whom have been there since the outbreak of conflict in March 2011.
‘My photos show the tragedy of the conflict with a message of hope – showing the hard job that the Red Cross and the Red Crescent volunteers are doing, always helping everybody in respect of our principle of neutrality,’ says Malla.
‘This is the message that I started to carry around the world, to let everybody know and see the bravery of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers. I feel this is my duty to honour my friends who sacrificed their life.’
Entitled Syria: Humanity in Conflict, the exhibition has been created with the British Red Cross, and features comments by local volunteers for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).
These create a narrative that goes part way to explaining why they risk their lives to do what they do, carrying out essential aid work such as delivering food parcels, blankets, mattresses, hygiene kits, kitchen sets, first aid and ambulance services and fixed and mobile health clinics.
They also provide psycho-social support services for children and their families, water and sanitation and support temporary shelters in schools, offices, and public buildings.
According to the IWM, the volunteers help almost three million people each month.
‘The reason I do it is because first and foremost I am Syrian and I can’t stand to see my people suffer’, explained Hamza, a Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteer, in December 2011.
Syria: Humanity in Conflict is on show until 14 September at IWM North, The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester M17