Local woman to share images of Syria
VERGENNES — The Vergennes Opera House will host a book launch for local photographer and author Deborah Harte Felmeth and her new book, “Syria, Remember Me,” on Sunday, Nov. 15, from 3-5 p.m.
At this event, titled “Storytelling for Syria,” Felmeth will speak about her photographs and about the “birth” of this book.
“Syria, Remember Me” bears witness in words and images to the strong, dignified, beautiful and complex lives of the Syrian people — from the fertile Euphrates River Valley to the wide-open expanse of the great Syrian Desert, from the maze of overflowing markets to the spacious interiors of gold-domed mosques. The photographs in this collection were taken over two decades, between 1991 and 2011, and precede the war that now sweeps this beleaguered land.
Today, the media publishes daily images of Syria that reveal only the devastation, grief, rage and victimhood of war. It is the author’s hope to expand and hearten that limited view. “Syria, Remember Me” offers readers a more humanizing encounter as they turn the pages and gaze into eyes of Syrians young and old, humble and proud, engaged in the simple miracle of living an ordinary day and a life lived in peace.
Felmeth’s photographs are compassionate and nuanced, chronicling Syria’s social mosaic with beauty and spontaneity. “With the publication of this book I hope to encourage active peace making, she says. “Remembering is an act, in this case an act of courage and creation, founded upon seeing, knowing and feeling.” Felmeth, an Addison County resident since 1978, found her way to Damascus in 1991 and fell in love with Syria, and says her heart never left. She loves Syria’s hills, its deserts, cities, villages and above all its people and their culture. Since 1996 and until Syria’s recent upheaval and the heartbreaking tragedy of war, Felmeth and her husband divided their time equally between a beloved apartment above Straight Street in the Old City of Damascus and their equally beloved home in the Green Mountains of Vermont.
Felmeth works professionally as a piano and voice teacher, yoga instructor and healer. She is also a musician, singer, weaver, gardener and avid photographer.
“Syria, Remember Me,” published by Bard Owl, an imprint of Voices of Vermonters Publishing Group of Shelburne, is a limited edition, hardcover photo essay, divided into eight chapters, 228 pages with 200 color plates, available at independent bookstores and online at syria-remember-me.com.