Syrian artists memorialize George Floyd in war-torn country

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Updated 02 June 2020

Syrian artists memorialize George Floyd in war-torn country

DUBAI: In the past few weeks, people across the world have been protesting against police brutality and to honor George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others who have lost their lives at the hands of police.

Syrian artists Aziz Asmar and Anis Hamdoun decided to show solidarity to the protestors and Black Lives Matter movement  by painting a powerful mural of Floyd against the backdrop of Idlib’s ruins. 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ghaith Alsayed (@ghaith.alsayed) on

The mural depicted a portrait of Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, alongside the words “I can’t breathe” and “No to racism.”

Asmar said Floyd’s death “by suffocation” reminded him of Syrian civilians “killed by suffocation after the Syrian regime hit them with chemical weapons,” according to a local news report.

The artists said they painted the mural to “to call for peace and love” worldwide.

The pictures instantly went viral on social media and Twitter users praised the artists for choosing to paint the mural of Floyd in Syria, which has been facing a humanitarian crisis for years.

“It truly warms my heart to see Syrians supporting BLM even with everything they’re going through in Syria!” wrote one user on Twitter. “Syrian artists Aziz Asmar and Anis Hamdoun in the town of Binnish in Idlib!”

From Syria to Spain, murals memorializing Floyd have cropped up in cities across the globe. In the occupied Westbank, Palestinian artist Walid Ayyoud painted a portrait of Floyd wearing a keffiyeh and in front of the Palestinian flag on the Apartheid Wall.


Egyptian actor and academic Sanaa Shafea dies aged 77

Updated 12 August 2020

Egyptian actor and academic Sanaa Shafea dies aged 77

  • The actor suffered from severe pneumonia during the past two days
  • Culture Minister Inas Abdel Dayem paid tribute to Shafea saying he had “formed a dramatic milestone"

CAIRO: Egyptian actor and academic Sanaa Shafea died on Wednesday at the age of 77 after a short illness.
The actor suffered from severe pneumonia during the past two days before he died in hospital, Egyptian newspapers said. 
Egyptian Culture Minister Inas Abdel Dayem paid tribute to Shafea saying he had “formed a dramatic milestone in Egyptian theatrical performance,” Al-Akhbar El-Youm newspaper reported.
Abdel Dayem said that throughout his career he succeeded in performing complex characters and produced a group of immortal works.
The actor, theater director and professor was the dean of the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Cairo.  
He reportedly married nine times, among them his marriage to Egyptian actor Nada Bassiouny.
Born in 1943, in Assiut region, Upper Egypt, Shafea lived in a village for eight years before moving to Cairo with his father.
His love for acting was met with objection from his father, who was a scholar at Al-Azhar Islamic Institute.
Shafea took part in almost 30 films and played a number of roles in many television series, the most prominent of which are “Omar bin Abdul Aziz”, “Haroun Al-Rasheed”, “Bab Al-Khalq”, “Hadret Al Motaham Aby”, and during last Ramadan he participated in “Layalina 80”.