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Daniel Koehler ’12 edits compelling op-ed video for The New York Times 

On the heels of co-editing the new documentary “City of Ghosts,” the Elon alumnus served as an editor for a short video supporting an article written by Syrian activist Abdalaziz Alhamza, co-founder of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.

Beneath The New York Times headline “Bombs Will Not Defeat ISIS (but Maybe the Internet Will)” resides a chilling video narrated by Syrian activist Abdalaziz Alhamza, detailing the atrocities committed in his hometown of Raqqa by the Islamic State.

Daniel Koehler ’12 edited a short video that accommodates a July 6 article published in The New York Times titled “Bombs Will Not Defeat ISIS (but Maybe the Internet Will).” The video and article feature Syrian activist Abdalaziz Alhamza (pictured), co-founder of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.

​Published on July 6, the four-minute video – edited by Elon alumnus Dan Koehler ’12 – and its accompanying op-ed article applaud the Syrian citizen journalists risking their lives and the safety of their families to report on ISIS and the radical militant group’s dangerous propaganda. The video, narrated by Alhamza, also calls for social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to join the fight against ISIS and its supporters.

Koehler’s involvement with The New York Times video comes on the heels of his work co-editing Matthew Heineman’s new documentary “City of Ghosts,” released July 7 in New York City and July 14 in theaters around the country. The film follows the efforts of Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, a citizen journalist group co-founded by Alhamza that reports Syrian war news and human rights abuses by ISIS. The documentary details the lives of the activists as they face the realities of life undercover, on the run, and in exile.

In the months following its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, “City of Ghosts” has garnered numerous accolades, including the top prize at the 2017 Sheffield Doc/Fest Awards in England.

Following the release of the Times video and op-ed article, Elon Professor Janna Anderson applauded Koehler for his efforts editing “this important short video urging support for the brave people in Syria who are working to get the real story out.”

As part of his 2014-15 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, Koehler (right) produced a documentary film that tells the story of the San living near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Photo courtesy of National Geographic's website

​​July has become a busy month for Koehler as his own documentary, “A House Without Snakes,” continues to run in film festivals across the country. The film will soon screen at the Marfa Film Festival in Marfa, Texas, on Thursday, July 13, at the Crowley Theater.

“A House Without Snakes,” filmed and directed by Koehler during a nine-month stay in Botswana, provides an intimate look at two San men wrestling with the choice between honoring ancestral traditions or following modern possibilities.

Tommy Kopetskie,
7/7/2017 3:45 PM