Akram Abu al-Fawz

20 June 2014

The work of Douma-based Akram Abu al-Fawz focuses on rocket and mortar shells, which he turns into beautiful ornaments. Also known as Mohammad Douma, the 35-year old father of three hopes to provide a source of hope within his community, and show the rest of the world there is beauty in the Syrian resistance.

Traditional arabesques are present in the work of the artist, who colors mortar and bullet shells and turns them into decorative elements. The result is a combination of traditional Syrian traditional art and the renewed spirit of freedom and resilience that took Syrians to the streets in Douma, and throughout the country.  

Despite the fact that he was forced to move from house to house after his home was burned by Syrian regime troops, Abu al-Fawz continues to pursue his task of creating life from death. He believes that "culture, art and civilization are no less important that the battles on the ground." 

“Weapons will not be enough to get rid of the slavery we have lived in”, he explained in an interview with SyriaUntold. “We also need art, culture and civilization to weave our freedom.”

The objects are not just ornaments, but they are used by children to play, after they are decorated. According to Abu al-Fawz, these customized tools are proof of the difference between the regime and the rebels who rose against it. They resisted the regime once, and they resist it again by transforming its weapons of destruction into life. 

Abu al-Fawz continues to face huge difficulties to pursue his task, from displacement to the lack of necessary tools. He believes the effort is worth it, in the hope that these artifacts will “one day bear witness to the crimes against humanity committed in Syria.

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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad