Japanese trucker Toshifumi Fujimoto is bored with his humdrum job, a daily run from Osaka to Tokyo or Nagasaki hauling tanker loads of gasoline, water or even chocolate.
Dressed in a Japanese army fatigues and armed with two cameras and a video camera — Japanese, of course — Fujimoto heads for whatever frontline he can every morning to document the ongoing destruction of Syria’s second city and one-time commercial capital.
Fujimoto, who doesn’t speak English, much less Arabic, has picked up a few words, such as “dangerous” and “front line.”
The only way to interview him was to make use of Google Translate.
“I always go by myself, because no tour guide wants to go to the front. It’s very exciting, and the adrenaline rush is like no other.
“It’s more dangerous in Syria to be a journalist than a tourist,” he said, describing how “each morning I walk 200 metres (yards) to reach the ‘front’, and I’m right there on the firing line with soldiers of the (rebel) Free Syria Army.”
“It fascinates me, and I enjoy it,” he says, as some FSA fighters stop him in one of the Old City’s streets to have their picture taken with him.
“Most people think I’m Chinese, and they greet me in Chinese,” he smiled.
He takes his time getting his shots right, as the rebels he hangs out with shout from both sides of the street: “Run! Run! There are snipers. Run!”
But he ignores them, finishes shooting and casually walks away with photos that he will later post on his Facebook page to share with his friends.
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