Mohamad Alsabbagh is an elite triathlete. He has the passion, talent, determination and potential to participate in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. He left his home of Syria at the onset of the crisis, and is now a permanent Canadian resident.
Like many athletes who dream of making it to the Olympics, he is faced with financial concerns that limit training time, competitive opportunities and having access to the best gear, physical therapists and nutrition plans.
"Despite these challenges, I consider myself fortunate when I think of all the families – including some of my family members and friends –
who are struggling in Syria. That is why I want to represent my country of origin at the 2020 Summer Olympics;
I want to give hope and pride to the Syrian people."
From the beginning, it was clear communication, both written and visual, had to be succinct yet impactful. Maximum visibility, and a recognizable symbol were needed.
The Peace symbol was chosen because works across language barriers, is something you can do in photos, and it has an emoji ✌️ . The quotes and feisty typography are a nod to Syria's strongest Olympic sport; boxing, yet apply very directly to Mohamad's situation.
Photography: Yathurshan Sivasothy
Communications: Caroline Lavallée
This is an ongoing pro-bono project. Please check back for updates to Mo's story.