Bassel Shehadeh was born in Damascus in 1984. Although he studied IT Engineering in Damascus, his real passion was for filmmaking, which he pursued until he was accepted in the Fulbright program which offered him a scholarship at Syracuse University.
Traveling and exploring was another passion of Bassel’s which urged him to cycle from Damascus to Aleppo during the summer of 2010, and then to venture from Damascus to New Delhi, India, on his motorbike, Lenin, in early 2011.
When the nonviolent demonstrations broke out in Syria in March 2011, Bassel joined the protesters and demonstrators. Later on, he left to the USA in August 2011 on a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Film degree in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. While in the USA, Bassel interviewed many Arab and American intellectuals for his film “Singing to Freedom”. However, Bassel couldn’t stay away from Syria, and came back on Christmas 2011 to play a more active role in the uprising and an essential role in documenting the nonviolent civil movement in the country. He also trained citizen journalists in Homs.
Bassel was killed in Homs on 28 May 2012 during a Syrian regime bombardment on the city. While he could have stayed safe in the USA, Bassel felt compelled to come back to be part of every aspect of the nonviolent civil movement and pass on his expertise and vision to others. Because of all this, Bassel became a Revolution Martyr and a symbol for many young Syrian men and women who were motivated by his resilience, vision, and strong belief in the rights and the power of Syrian people.