I knew of her. I knew of her, of course. Moroccan photographer Leila Alaoui. She was young and beautiful and talented, terribly talented. Her portraits of Moroccans hung in the iconic Mamounia Hotel. She had everything going for her, everything.
Everything but being in the right place at the wrong time. She was in Burkina Faso working for Amnesty International when they came for her -- came for her and the others. And they killed her, just like that. For no reason, no reason really, besides their misguided mission and their hearts filled with hate.
But despite their efforts, they can never really take her away. Because we have her images, we have her legacy, we have her work.
The Moroccans is a series of life-sized photographic portraits shot in a mobile studio transported around Morocco.
Filled with curiousity, her photographs reveal the cultural diversity and the construction of identity of the people and country she loved so much. Morocco.
And so I say to you, you senseless Jihadi warrior, you confused al Qaeda killer, you were outwitted. Because she may be gone, but she is not forgotten. No, no never forgotten.
And in her place, a thousand flowers will grow despite your attempts to block the sun.
All photographs courtesy of Leila Alaoui.