Adam Hedengren
Last updated: 11 July, 2012

Interview with Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat – still believing in the power of art

Samar Media recently launched a series of interviews with leading cartoonists from across the Arab world, all set to talk about their experiences of the uprisings. First one out is Ali Ferzat, the famous Syrian cartoonist who was severely beaten last year by a group of thugs, widely believed to be part of the regime’s shabiha.

“The attackers stole the contents of his briefcase, including his drawings and other personal belongings,” the Local Coordination Committee’s Omar Idlbi said in a statement. “He was beaten hard, notably on his hands. Passersby found him on the road to the airport and he was taken to hospital.”

Mr. Ferzat has been an outspoken critic of President Assad and frequently published cartoons attacking the brutal crackdown on protesters.           

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, meanwhile, said that “an armed gang kidnapped and assaulted Ali Ferzat. He has bruises on the face and hands. They (the gunmen) then threw him out of a car on the road to the airport, where he was spotted by a doorman at a building, and was taken to hospital.”

The charismatic cartoonist himself gives a heartbreaking and vivid account of the events that almost killed him in the video clip above.

“It was very moving and honoring to know that art can still have such an impact and send a message to the heart of the people,” he said.

The interview with Ali Ferzat was produced by Samar Media together with Stand Alone Media.