Jan Heilig says
Producer Jan Heilig writes about his friend:
I met Tamer on a demonstration for Syrian freedom at the beginning of 2011 in Berlin. I saw him with a cameraman, and he saw my camera, so we soon came into contact. While I was only seeking an interview partner, he came straight out and asked me: “I need a producer, can you do this?” That is how I remember him – straightforward in his actions and always getting right to the point. In that sense, you could say he was a very un-Arabic person – at least in my perception. His jokes and his intelligent humour were fascinating. For hours he could tell funny stories drawn from his own life, making you laugh and cry at the same time. And so, after a few weeks of working with him, I decided: “OK, I will be your producer!”
Tamer was a very charismatic person, even if he was not easy to handle – several times I was angry with him for doing things precisely how he wanted to, regardless of any contrary opinions. But I believed he would be able to communicate the Syrian cause to Western hearts and minds. The idea was born that we would engage in a co-production between Germany and a country that does not yet exist: the free Syria. Then the civil war became more and more violent. Tamer was uneasy just sitting in Berlin and several times he visited Syria to get original film footage from there. I was angry because he put himself in such danger – on the other hand, maybe I would have done the same. He could be such a mule, so very stubborn. When I heard about his death there was no emotion in me – just a hole. Later I realized that all the dreams of a genuine Syrian cinema film would be buried with him. You could say he gave his life to his cause, but like every martyr… what remains in the end is just that, a hole. I miss him very much. Now I have no one I can be angry with. I miss him.