Ali Hachicho has been enthralled with photography since childhood. Photography has been an indispensable part of his daily life since Israel’s 1993 invasion of Lebanon. Recent Israeli invasions prompted Ali Hachicho to delve even deeper into the field of photography. His professional accomplishments include membership in the Syndicate of Journalists.
Ali Hachicho professes that life threatening situations are ever present during times of war. He recalls an event where he witnessed bombings and a fatality on July 16, 2006, “I was traveling with a colleague to the Al Zahrani region to photograph the Israeli bombing of fuel reservoirs. After driving at breakneck speed to reach our destination we noticed that the reservoirs on the horizon were still in tact. At precisely that moment about forty meters in front of us the Israeli warplanes bombed the Al Zahrani Bridge. Suddenly flames and dust enveloped the entire skyline, covering it with a thick, muddy haze. It was impossible to photograph, let alone distinguish or define anything for miles”.
Ali Hachicho asserts, “The purpose of a photo is to increase the viewer’s awareness and knowledge. An outstanding photograph should be contextually honest and forthright. When photographers manipulate the fundamental constituents of a photograph they depreciate the contextual impact. The perspective the photograph is taken from and the angle of the camera determines the effectiveness of the photograph. If the angle and perspective are erroneous, the photograph will also be erroneous. A photograph needs to reveal a complete message. Photos that document the miseries of children are the most psychologically influential.”
During the July 2006 War Ali discovered that photographs are incapable of capturing the profound human misery and suffering endured by the victims of war. He claims, “Human suffering is far more devastating than what is reflected in photographs. A camera can not capture the full impact of emotional and physical devastation. In actuality, the camera veils the agony. Lebanese society considers the camera to be the enemy, unaware that the camera is a tool for documenting untoward incidents and events.”
Ali Hachicho believes that taking photographs and assisting those in distress is of equal importance. He acknowledges that he is not a trained medical technician or first aid worker, yet he assists others whenever the situation merits. During the July 2006 War in Bnt Al Jabal he performed a two fold job, assisting elderly women waiting for ambulances and photographing. It is impossible for Ali to remain neutral about the war because the bombs are exploding on his land and aimed at his fellow citizens. As he states, “The victims are a primary part of my life. My published photographs do not always convey the messages I want to deliver, because the captions are oftentimes misleading or inaccurate.”
Ali Hachicho describes the political instability in the region as follows, “The continually changing political parties have an extremely detrimental effect on a photographer’s career. Politicians categorize photographers according to the agencies that employ them and prevent them from entering certain regions.”
During times of war Ali Hachicho is concerned about the welfare of his family but he does not allow these concerns to interfere with his job performance. A “missed call” from Ali is a sign of assurance for his family members. He claims that some photographers remove their families from dangerous zones but he does not do this. He intuitively believes that his family members will be safe and that Lebanon will ultimately be victorious.
Ali Hachicho’s mission as a photographer is to reveal the sufferings of defeated people and to show the extreme level of people’s rebellion against injustice. One of his goals is to bring to light the tortures of the resistance Al Moukawame. Ali Hachicho describes an incidence during the war when he witnessed a father unconsciously stepping on the body of his dead daughter, saying this is a gift to Al Moukawame, the father’s devotion toAl Moukawame can not be captured in a photograph.
Ali Hachicho describes his photography career as follows, “Nothing is routine. There is always something new to elevate the soul of the photographer. The value of a camera can not be equated to the price paid for it. A camera far surpasses the monetary investment.”
• Name and Surname: Ali Hachicho
• Place of birth: Saida, Lebanon.
• Date of birth: 1969
• Agency Employment: Sowt al Shaeeb Station (Reporter)
ICN T.V. Station (Reporter)
AFP (Agence France-Press) (Photographer)
Al Kifah Al Arabi Newspaper (Reporter)
NEW T.V. (Reporter)
: Reuters (Reporter and Photographer)
Associated Press Television Network
• Length of Career: Since 1992
By Sevana Semerdjian