Syria: In Aleppo, one man’s story of fear, defiance and survival

(CNN) – Karam al Masri is watching his city die. Or more accurately, he is watching the life gradually ebb from it.

Masri is a 25-year-old photographer in Aleppo who documents the fatalism, fear and sometimes the defiance of tens of thousands of civilians who remain in rebel-held areas of the city now almost encircled by Syrian government forces and their allies.

Masri has witnessed and experienced enough tragedy to fill many lifetimes.

He has been detained by the regime’s secret police and ISIS; he has seen others executed and expected to be killed himself. He has lost relatives and friends and watched his beloved city become a battlefield.

But he stayed on through the barrel bombs that rained down from helicopters of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. He stayed on despite the snipers and the random shelling. And he continued taking photographs of the people, their spirit as well as their inconsolable sadness.