I remember the first time I saw Simone. He was editing a video wearing a helmet in the border of Israel Lebanon during the War in 2006. His long and curly hair was coming out from the helmet. His handsome face with his chill out look. I remember he stared at me with a smile despite his eyes had the worry of being in an area that rockets were falling. We become friends and even the distance, he based in Jerusalem and me in Bangkok, we kept always in contact. Lots of Skype conversations checking on each other, how we were doing, sharing stories of life and work, cheering and giving strength on each other. Endless conversations about the media world. And we complained too about the unfairness and miseries of this business when we just wanted to do what we loved to do: tell stories that could be meaningful to somehow feel useful.
During Georgia war we worked again together. Simone did a crazy drive with a satellite dish from Israel to Georgia to be there in the front of a top story. He never complained of a drive that few would dare to do specially entering in a war zone. We worked hard and we laughed. Few guys worked as hard and motivated in the filed like him. Since then so many ideas and shared dreams, projects that we always talked to do together that now I regret we never did. Can not believe he died in Gaza. Meanwhile I write his Skype account still says online.
After so many years in Jerusalem he moved to Beirut. Despite part of the media world was becoming a way of deception he never lost the motivation, the creativity and the passion to take the camera and tell a story. Before going to Iraq he thanked me for some stuff he said I tough him about editing and shooting. His kindness made me smile. Told him to be safe in Iraq, specially because of his wife and his daughter, but at the same time to enjoy working and to show to everybody how good he could be with the camera. Then he went to Gaza, almost a second home for him. Recently he mentioned to me one of the first stories he shot for Ap in Gaza years ago and that he end up doing a very nice and creative online video.
Simone, so unfair that you go so young married and with a daughter. You always wanted to shoot and tell stories. Always working so hard, finding alternative ways to make a proper salary for living. Always despite the non appreciation, going against the adversity to achieve your dreams. Too bad that the last dream you shared days ago about a chance of getting a better job and that kept you awake for one night will not happen.
Do not tell that Simone worked for this or that company. Tell that Simone worked for his believes, for what he was passionate to do, for what he was good on doing and for what he always struggle and dreamed.