Ali Ferzat, cartoonist in exile

Ali Farzat founded in 2001 Syria’s first satirical weekly, Ad Domari. In August 2011, he was attacked by Bashar al-Assad’s militia who broke his hands. The 62-year-old Syrian artist is now living in Kuwait after being attacked for drawing satirical cartoons of President Bashar al-Assad. The incident prompted international condemnation of the Assad regime. Farzat was awarded the European parliament Sakharov prize for freedom of thought.

“It was a big decision to start to draw Bashar and, yes, I was scared of what might happen, particularly when I was attacked,” Ferzat says. “But I had a responsibility to do what I did. If I am not prepared to take risks I have no right to call myself an artist. If there is no mission or message to my work I might as well be a painter and decorator.”

Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat

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