Le Pont Organization

The Le Pont Organization was founded and is operated by self-taught photographer Issa Touma, who has been working with photography for the past 15 years.

In 1992, Touma established the first photography gallery in the Middle East, Black and White Gallery. After its closure in 1996, he opened Le Pont Gallery, which continues to be the only gallery dedicated to photography in the region.

In 1997, Le Pont hosted the first contemporary international photography events in the Middle East, the International Photography Festival in Aleppo. The event has grown from 600 visitors in its first year to more than 7,000 in 2004. Since 1999, the organization has also hosted the International Woman’s Art Festival in Syria, an event that features a variety of art from music, dance, and theatre to sculpture, photography, performance, and video art. In addition, the New Line Art Organization was founded in association with Le Pont in 2009. With the goal of encouraging a broader knowledge, appreciation, and practice of all modern art forms in the Middle East, they will introduce the first annual New Line Art Festival in 2009.

The activities of Touma and his group, the Le Pont Organization, which include the gallery, the Photography Festival and the Woman’s Art Festival, annually draw in excess of 25,000 visitors, including international students, diplomats and the general public.

Issa Touma

Issa Touma is a self-taught photographer and film director based in Aleppo, Syria. His acclaimed work has been featured in international collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the FOMU Museum in Antwerpen.

Notable Achievements

  • 2016 was a remarkable year for Issa Touma as his film 9 Days from My Window in Aleppo received numerous accolades:
    • European Film Award for Best Short Film
    • Best Short Film at the London Film Festival
    • Tribute Award at the International Short Film Festival in New York
  • The film 9 Days from My Window in Aleppo was showcased in over 60 festivals and approximately 50 cultural activities worldwide.
  • In 2017, his film Greetings from Aleppo debuted at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR) and went on to win:
    • DIG AWARD in Italy (June 23, 2017)
    • DIRECTORSNL AWARD 2018 in the Netherlands
  • In 2023, the film Young in Aleppo won the Jury Award at the Paris Short Film Award.

World Press Photo Involvement

  • 2023 World Press Photo Contest jury member
  • 2019 World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest winner