A Pen of Damascus Steel; Ali Farzat
“I am Ali Ferzat, from the city of Hama (Syria) where the river flows upstream unlike other rivers. That is why we, the people of Hama, go against the current…I produced cartoons without words. I spoke in all languages without speaking any language.”
Ali Farzat is a Syrian political cartoonist and one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. A critic of bureaucracy, corruption, and hypocrisy amongst the wealthy elite and governmental bodies in August of 2011 (incidentally on the day of my birth) Farzat was kidnapped and tortured during the Syrian uprising. His briefcase and drawings were confiscated. And his hands, the primary focus for torture, were badly broken and remain so. Farzat who has been referred to as “one of the most famous cultural figures in the Arab world” was just recently awarded the European parliament Sakharov prize for freedom of thought. The Guardian newspaper has just posted a fantastic video featuring the man himself. He speaks like poetry (even though the Arabic has been translated) and he draws with such speed and agility right on camera it’s amazing. All of you Tumblrkitties should head over and watch it here.