The seventeen year old Mohamed Katish has always dreamed of a better future for his city Aleppo, the city that he witnessed its destruction a few years ago. Since he was thirteen years old, Mohamed has been building a model of his city from the garage of his house in Aleppo. By using simple materials such as paper, glue, and sponge he managed to build a three dimensional landscape for the city as he imagined it, across the garage. The model did not change the reality of war and the increasing bombing that forced his family to leave for Gaziantep in Turkey. However, Mohamed kept pursuing his dream of building the model again, because to him, it was not just a glimmer of hope or a personal creation in the context of the current conflict, but it represented a personal history of his home city Aleppo, a history he wishes to preserve to rebuild his city.
Mohamed’s journey in Turkey took a new turn. After his story was published on BBC news channel, he was joined by Mr. Alex who takes interest in creative projects, to help Mohamed spread his idea further and benefit from it. After finishing the model, Mr. Alex worked on documenting Aleppo’s architectural landscape using VR technology, so that anyone online can walk through the model Mohamed built for the city. With the support of UNHCR and OFID, Mohammed participated in an activity camp for refugee children in the city of Kahraman Marash to teach younger children how to use the necessary tools needed to build models of their own towns from which they fled. Indeed, many of these models have been documented with the same technology to be downloaded and viewed.
Mohammed is currently working on a virtual film with more details about the city of Aleppo, where the viewer will be able to visit several landmarks in the city such as the castle and the market among others, and will be able to meet several characters within the city. Mohammed hopes to become an architect in the near future and inspire as many of his countrymen as possible to join him on the journey of return and reconstruction of his city Aleppo.
Web Page; futurealeppo.com