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Ali Farzat
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    (June 22, 1951- )
    Born in Hama, Syria
    Political cartoonist
    Head of Arab Cartoonists’ Association
    Worked for ‘al-Thawra’ (1969), ‘Tishreen’ (mid-1970s), and ‘al-Domari’ (2000-2003)
    Drew over 15,000 political cartoons on Arab politics, including ‘A Pen of Damascus Steel’ (2005) and ‘The General and the Decorations’ (March 28, 2008)
    Normally depicted types rather than individuals prior to the Syrian Civil War, when he started directly targeting individuals
    Received Prince Claus Award (2002), Sakharov Prize (2011), and Gebran Tueni Award (December 11, 2012)
    His last name is sometimes spelled as ‘Ferzat’.
    He left the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University before he could graduate.
    His drawings caused so much controversy that he got banned from Iraq, Jordan, and Libya when they were exhibited at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. (1989)
    He was initially friends with Bashar al-Assad after the latter laughed at his cartoons mocking security personnel.
    He is willing to stand up against the dictatorial regimes of the Arab world at risk of his own safety.
    He criticizes the corruption and hypocrisy prevalent in the Syrian government and elite.
    He had to put up with strict government censorship, which forced him to close down ‘al-Domari’ after running it for three years.
    He was attacked by pro-regime security forces and militia, triggering worldwide outrage as a result. (August 25, 2011)
    Regarding the uprising against Bashar al-Assad, he said that fear has been defeated in Syria. (October 25, 2012)

Credit: Big Lenny

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