This story uses photogrammetry, a noncontact, nondestructive technique that records the exact size and shape of existing spaces and objects by combining thousands of images to create a 3D rendering of a space.

All the overlapping photographs used to create the 3D models were taken during summer 2022 by ICRC field teams using drones and handheld cameras to scan and photograph all sides of the buildings and rooms on location at the Mosul Ibn Sina Teaching Hospital, Aleppo’s Old Souk and Al-Mena Tower in Gaza:

  • Sara Al Zawqari

    ICRC Communications Coordinator, Baghdad, Iraq

  • Mike Khalaf

    ICRC Audiovisual Producer, Baghdad, Iraq

  • Muyassar Mansour

    ICRC Communications Officer, Mosul, Iraq

This project was one of the most interesting yet complicated ones that Sara, Mike, and Muyassar have worked on. Capturing tens of thousands of photographs of a massive structure, and flying a drone over such a sensitive location, required negotiation and coordination with several governmental entities, people managing the location, and the hospital staff. The team had a very tight window to gather the images during the hottest month of the year, using an innovative technique that none of them had worked on before.

Mike focused on mastering the photogrammetry, Muyassar secured approvals and recorded the video walkthrough of the hospital, while Sara interviewed hospital staff and anticipated and solved the project’s potential risks and pitfalls.

  • Hisham Mhanna

    ICRC Communication Officer, Gaza, Occupied Palestinian Territory

  • Ahmed Al-Whaidi

    Reflection Media Productions Director, Gaza, Occupied Palestinian Territory

Hisham has lived most of his life in Gaza. Deeply moved by his interview with Imad and Feryal, who lost everything in an instant, he hopes that this immersive experience will help people fully grasp how armed conflict devastates lives.

Ahmed reckons this to be the most challenging production of his career, from applying new photogrammetry techniques to a severely damaged building, to the daily challenges of changing weather and light, but he is pleased that it allowed him to tell the story of his community, the people of Gaza.

  • Ammar Saboh

    ICRC Communications Field Officer & Audiovisual Producer, Damascus, Syria

The Souk was one of Ammar’s favourite places in Aleppo, and while working on the project, it became even more special for him. Spending more time in the old market and listening to stories about it, Ammar grew closer to the people who work there and live in the area. They shared memories of growing up in its centuries-old alleys, and described their last moments in the Souk before having to leave everything behind.

Ammar says he witnessed incredible fortitude and resilience during the interview and photography process, and that the project taught him to appreciate the little things, even as everything else falls apart.

Photos and video of Mosul Ibn Sina Teaching Hospital before and after the battle, and of the alternative hospital structure during the rehabilitation process, are courtesy of Dr Faiz Ibrahim AL-Hamdani, Director of the Mosul Ibn Sina Teaching Hospital.

Photos of the apartment’s interior in Gaza are courtesy of Imad Handouqa, owner of the Al-Mena Tower.