Looking more forward to this than anything else.

October 9th, 2013, 9am

It was 11°C with clouds and visibility OK. The breeze was light.

I was introduced to E. through a mutual friend and we met for a drink on a side street near Galata Square. E. was very interested in this idea of citizen journalism and public diplomacy, and had arranged many conferences and public activities around Turkish political policy. He’s also made many friends who are journalists and, particularly, war photographers. Somebody mentioned Syria. Was it me? I’m such an idiot.

E. had a friend who had just returned from Aleppo. He pulled a picture up on the screen of his iPad. “Don’t flip backward or forward,” he warned me, handing it over. On the screen was a man, lying on his side, hog-tied. Another man leaned over him, sawing his face off with a knife. I blanched.

“He’s never going back,” explained E. “This time was the last time.” I flipped forward and then backward on the screen. The whole scene had been captured. The last image was of a man walking his three-year-old son by the now-decapitated body, the head propped up on the slope of the still back. The son looked, sucking on one finger, not knowing what he saw.

My friend Kate looked and began to cry silently.

“What did this man do?” she asked.

“What do any of them do?” shrugged E.

Lindsay, Jo, Paul, Kristen and 5 others said thanks.

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Cassie Marketos

Community Manager at Hi. Traveling. Writing! Will send invites generously. Just ping @sayhi.

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