Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ali Farzat: the dreams of Syria

This most gifted of cartoonist, `Ali Farzat, was kidnapped by armed goons (Shabbihah) of the Syrian regime and severely beaten.  What do you call a lousy regime that is terrified of a talented cartoonist?  I have written extensively on this blog about this brilliant cartoonist.  I recommended a book published in the US containing some of his work.  I always credit Lisa Wedeen of the University of Chicago for introducing me to his work back in 1993.  He has a unique style and gifts.  During the short-lived, "Damascus Spring", he produced a publication "Dumari".  It did not last.  I still possess some of its issues.  Farzat has a website where some of work is displayed but it is now blocked.  This is Farzat in his hospital bed.  I woke up to the news and was most distressed.  The Ba`th Party in its history produced no talents and gifts: so I understand why they want to smash gifts and arts and talents.  This is a crucial moment for wavering progressive: a stance against the repressive regime is now badly needed.  No argument can be made in support of the regime.  And despite is verbal trickery, it does not fight Israel either.  It hides under the feet of Hizbullah hoping to reap the rewards of their fighting skills against Israel.  This is a regime that smashes hopes and dreams.  `Ali Farzat?  One of the best talents in Syria and the region?  Armed goons of the regime dare to damage his precious hands??  Which side are you on?  Ali Farzat or Bashshar Al-Asad?