Nour and Rabab (great love)


 By Sulaiman Othman

bin-march09-damascus-by-sulaiman-osman 2
Arnous park-Damascus 2009
Arnous Park-Damascus 2013








At first glance, the image seemed of no artistic value, fiddly, and repulsive. I hesitated at the idea that anyone would pay attention to a small rubbish bin.

It wasn’t just a bin, it was the canvas for Nour and Rabab to spray their names along with the phrase ‘A great love, for always’. That’s what intrigued me to take the picture in the first place

Only later on, I recognised that the emotional expressions written on the plastic were just scribbles of teenagers expressing their love and reflect their emotions

Teenagers in Syria usually scribble the expressions of love and desire on walls of schools, in toilets stalls or on trees. But, Nour and Rabab couldn’t find anywhere to express themselves except on a plastic bin.

This photo was taken on the 5th of March, 2009 in Damascus, at Arnous Public Park, near Salheya market. Today, 2014, 5 years later, I constantly wonder about Nour and Rabab. What happened to them? Could they still be alive? Did they get married and had a happy ending? Did they break up? Do they still live in Damascus? Are they drowned in the Aegean Sea or separated in refugee camps or? passed away by a bomb or a battle

As I was browsed my photography archive, my memories drew me back to the times I had been living in Damascus and its alleys. I wondered whether the bin is still in the same place or was it burned

Would Nour and Rabab, who chose a bin one day to express their love stories and feelings at a public park in the middle of Damascus, wish for a bigger space to narrate tales of their passion

Is it possible now for anyone to write about love under the bombing of defenders and machine guns?

Are young people going to find safe places for their passionate adventures, talk about their crazy love stories and their innocent scribble?



  1. Great words Osman….Love the end with a question that if love is now fine to express after the revolution or just like olden days still hush hush thing. 👌

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s