The Legal Agenda (LA) is a Beirut based non-governmental, not-for-profit organization with offices in Lebanon and Tunisia and programs and correspondents in several other Arab countries.
It was established in December 2009 by a group of legal professionals, scholars and human rights activists who institutionalized their efforts towards building a critical and multidisciplinary approach to law and justice in Arab countries, with a special focus on political, civil, social and economic rights.
Dalia Khamissy is a Lebanese-born photographer working on social and political stories in the Middle East.
In 2005 Khamissy worked for the Associated Press as photo editor in its Beirut office. After quitting the AP in 2006, she went on documenting the social issues of Lebanon as well as the aftermath of its wars and their impact on the lives of people. In 2010, she started an ongoing project, “The Missing of Lebanon”, photographing the families of some of the estimated 17,000 people who went missing during Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war. Since 2011, she has been covering the aftermath of the war in Syria, and more specifically the refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.
She is currently working on the aftermath of the 4 August Beirut blast, a collaboration with the Legal Agenda, telling the stories of those whose lives were affected.
Her pictures have been exhibited widely in Europe, South America, US and the MENA region. She is published in local and international publications.
She is currently based in Lebanon.
On August 4, 2020, as everybody in Lebanon was going on with their normal lives, a double explosion, with the most deafening sound, hit the capital Beirut at 18:07, killing hundreds of people, injuring thousands and destroying the capital. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced from their homes. The cause of the explosion was a fire that triggered the detonation of an estimated 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a combustible chemical, that has been stored unsafely in a warehouse at the port for almost 7 years.
On August 4, 2020 hundreds of people were killed directly, some others died days, months, years later suffering from their injuries. Up until May 2022, the estimated number of people who were killed reached 232, while others are still suffering from severe injuries and traumas.
The need to know the truth and access justice through the investigative and judicial work and through facilitating the creation of a healthy collective memory of what happened, one that is based on understanding who is accountable, and on who are the victims are important to shape our future as a society.
With the collaboration of the Legal Agenda, photographer Dalia Khamissy reached out to dozens of families whose lives have drastically changed in an attempt to tell their stories, using texts and photographs.