Bassel Al Shahade was a graduate student pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Film degree and was a Fulbright Scholar. He was a native of Damascus, Syria, and had returned to Syria as a citizen journalist to film the attacks, Cantor wrote.
Chancellor Cantor wrote, in part: "This is a terrible tragedy for Basselâ??s family and friends in Syria and for all his fellow students, faculty and friends here in Syracuse who knew him. His death is also a tragedy for the Syrian people, who have suffered many months of tragic violence as they seek greater freedom for their nation."
A new blog post on "Free Syrian Translators" says Shahade had, "returned home to report on what is happening on the ground and convey it to the world." The blog post says he had been in Syria for three months and had trained more than 15 other photographers how to edit video.
Chancellor Cantorâ??s email continued, saying: "As a University community, we must deplore the senseless violence by Syrian government forces that took the life of Bassel, and countless others over these many months. We hope and expect that growing international outrage, and yesterdayâ??s condemnation of the Syrian government by the U.N. Security Council, will create a more peaceful and non-violent path to freedom for the people of Syria."
A tribute page was created for Shahade on Facebook.One of Shahadeâ??s short films, "Saturday Morning Gift," was featured today on Salon.com.