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the photograph I did not take

She was holding the phone really close to her face in the way that people do when they are not used to video or FaceTime calls and she looked a little lost, her eyes searching around the screen in the way your parents probably do if you try to Skype them. There was something about her skin too, how close it was, lit only by the translucent glow of her mobile phone; you felt you could almost reach out into the phone and touch her, Iman, although she was far away, locked inside Syria.

It went unreported as it always does, but last week her home in the north-east of the city of Hama was plunged into darkness after a series of barrel bombs cut off the electricity supply. She was trying to talk to us – her brother Abohane, his family and I from Hama as we sat in the…

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