“You are not Alone” Exhibition – Berlin 2021

You are not alone
03.09.2021 – 13.09.2021 in Salon Am Moritzplatz, Berlin.
Opening: 18:00 Friday 03.09.21
Daily 14:00 to 22:00

While the isolation imposed by governments worldwide during the Covid-19 pandemic protected us from the dangers of a contagious virus, it also exposed us to the ever growing threat of separation on our psychological and social health. In these challenging times only our collective awareness that none of us are in this alone — that human beings everywhere on this planet face the same threat — allowed us to keep our solidarity, our togetherness and our strength while in quarantine.

This exhibition is a collective effort and joint statement from 180 artists around the globe that we stand together and that we will always find our space to create, adapt and stand strong.

These 300 multiple-medium artworks are the result of an open call released in March 2020 by the Penticton art gallery in Canada,the Syria.art Association (Nice/Berlin) and the Online Cyrrus Gallery celebrating a strong and creative partnership and demonstrating the ability of art in bringing people together.

These works will be kept as an archive to serve as a time capsule, a permanent document of
this moment in our collective history. The collection will be made available for loan to other
galleries and museums across the globe and in a permanent online exhibition. The exhibition
was shown in Penticton, Canada in September 2020 and will be shown in Nice, France in 2022.

Curated by Humam Alsalim and Paul Crawford.

You are not alone!

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting imposition of self-isolation, the Penticton Art Gallery, in partnership with the Syria.art Association (Nice/Berlin) and the online Cyrrus Gallery, invited artists from across the globe to participate in an unprecedented art exhibition entitled, You Are Not Alone. Like a message in a bottle, we sent out a call to artists working in all media, to submit works which would serve as a testament to our resiliency, creativity, and collective humanity in face of these extraordinary times. Visit the website here.

Humam Alsalim + Paul Crawford, Curators

We hoped this exhibition would not only celebrate the power of art, but will serve as a celebration of our diversity, culture, and be an important reminder, that regardless of where we live on this planet, we are not alone. For the artists whose work is represented, this was their opportunity to reach out to a global audience and share their voice and story while celebrating the beauty and creativity they have brought into this world through their art. Now more than ever we need to come together to celebrate our collective humanity. No one is immune to this pandemic and we hope this will help us get through this time by allowing us to share our stories, celebrate our diversity, mourn our losses, and heal as a planet.

These works will be kept as an archive to serve as a time capsule, a permanent document of this moment in our history. The collection will be made available for loan to other galleries and museums across the globe. If you would be interested in hosting this exhibition, please contact us to make arrangements for hosting this exhibition.

Future exhibition dates are in the works for 2021 in Berlin and France with additional opportunities also being pursued. Thanks to Humam Alsalim, a permanent online exhibition will also remain as a lasting legacy of this project and the resulting exhibitions. Thank you to all the artists who submitted works and lent their voices to this project and we wish you all good health and hope that your families and communities remain safe during this global crisis. 

Souad Mardem Bey

Souad Mardam Bey is a Syrian plastic artist born in Damascus, Syria.

Lives and works in Cairo, Egypt.


She studied philosophy at the Lebanese University in Beirut. She moved to many places to Canada and Egypt also she has many exhibitions in: Paris, Kuwait, Read, Jeddah, Cairo and Argentina. Mardam Bey’s oversized canvases are brimming with undercurrents of emotion; layers of color and intricate details which adorn her subjects, yet it is their eyes that leave you spellbound.  Read more and take a look at the available works !

You are not alone ! International Call for Artists

During this time of self isolation, the Penticton Art Gallery (Penticton, B.C., Canada) in partnership with the Syria.art association (Nice/Berlin), invites artists from across the globe to participate in an unprecedented art exhibition entitled, You Are Not Alone.

Like a message in a bottle, we are sending out into the world this call to artists working in any and all media, to serve as a testament of our resiliency, creativity, and our collective humanity in the face of these extraordinary times. We hope this exhibition will not only celebrate the power of art, but will serve as a poignant testament and celebration of our diversity, culture, and an important reminder, that regardless of where we live on this planet, we are not alone.

In an age where our society was already becoming increasingly insular, the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic serves to only isolate us even more. In the spirit of the penpal and mail art movement, this exhibition will create a permanent and physical document of our existence in this unprecedented moment in history.

This is your opportunity to reach out to a global audience and share your story and celebrate the beauty and creativity you have brought into this world through your art and by your existence. More now than ever, we need to come together to celebrate our collective humanity in all its diversity of colours, shapes, and sounds.

As part of this project, one can connect and share their art with a global network of artists. Our hope is that through the act of sharing, deep, rich, and meaningful connections will develop that will not only bring us together but may help build bridges of friendship and understanding. No one is immune to this pandemic and we hope this will help us to get through this time by allowing us to share our stories, celebrate our diversity, mourn our losses, and heal as a planet.

Submission Information:

Submission of physical works are to be no larger than 11” x 14″
All the 2D works will be matted and stored in crystal clear bags
3D works will be dealt with on an individual basis
Video and audio are also welcome and will be complied online.

Closing date: 01.July 2020 (This date might change if the pandemic lasted longer)

Phyiscal works can be sent to:
Paul Crawford c/o The Penticton Art Gallery
199 Marina Way
Penticton, British Columbia
V2A 1H5 Canada
Email: curator@pentictonartgallery.com

Houmam Alsaleim
Fischerinsel 4
10179 Berlin
Email: Syria-art@outlook.com

Khaled Youssef
590 avenue de la Paix
06190 Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
Email: asso.syria.art@hotmail.com
* All submissions will be fully documented and uploaded to a virtual exhibition

Digital submissions, including audio and video, can be sent to:

Humam Alsalim
Email: Syria-art@outlook.com

In addition to the online exhibition which will include all the works, a curated and selected version of the works will be included in a physical exhibition at the Penticton Art Gallery (September 2020 as a first plan),the exhibition will hopefully travel to europe to multiple venues. They will also remain as a permanent online exhibition that will be curated and built based on the artworks submitted.

Due to the nature of the exhibition, the works will not be returned. They will be kept as an archive, a time capsule, a document of this moment in our cultural history, by the Penticton Art Gallery. The collection will be made available for loan to other galleries and museums across the globe.

With each submission please include the following information:

Artist Name:
Contact information:
Brief Statement:
Brief Biography:

For more information please contact:

Humam Alsalim, Founder/Curator at Syria.art and the Cyrrus Online Gallery
Email: Syria-art@outlook.com
Phone: +4917644465896
Web: https://atomic-temporary-49913675.wpcomstaging.com/, https://en.syriaartasso.com/

Paul Crawford Curator Penticton Art Gallery
Email: curator@pentictonartgallery.com
Phone: (250) 493-2928
Web: www.pentictonartgallery.com

We thank you all for your time and consideration. Due to the nature of this exhibition, and the fact we are all volunteering our time and creative energy, we are unable to pay artist fees. In the spirit of the mail art movement we are organizing this exhibition to serve as a collective affirmation of our creative resilience in light of our shared experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. That being said should there be some opportunities in the future for revenue to be generated from this project, the revenue will be shared amongst all of the participating artists equally.

We want this to project to be as accessible as possible. We will be creating an online exhibition featuring all the submissions, as well as a physical exhibition that will be easy to transport and display. It will be made available to any museums or galleries interested in hosting this exhibition at a date in the future. Please feel free to reach out and contact Humam Alsalim or Paul Crawford for more information regarding this call for artists, or to make arrangements for hosting this exhibition at your venue.

Thank you all again for your time and consideration of this project and we wish you all good health and hope that you, your family, and community remain safe during this global crises.

‘MATERIAL RESILIENCE’- Alaa Sharabi and Juhayda AlBittar at QØDE Art Space

20 November to 15 January 2020

QØDE Art Space is pleased to announce that it is inviting Syrian artists now based in the UAE, Alaa Sharabi (1988) and Juhayda Al Bittar (1991) to exhibit their new work jointly for the first time as a married couple in Amman, Jordan in ‘Material Resilience’.

‘Material Resilience’ is an exploration of how individuals cope with feelings of loss, grief, fear and exile; transitioning and falling through the stages of life. During the transition, the past and the present overlap; the period of creative exploration triggers old memories and imposes questions for the future.

QØDE hopes that the exhibition will become a storytelling mechanism where artists can share their reflections with wider audiences, and aims to bring together young emerging artists from the Middle East to showcase their talent and consequently, their voices.

In this year’s iteration of the exhibition, both artists will correspond to the theme of ‘Material Resilience’ by bringing their own self-reflections and experiences to the exhibition through the

medium of painting and printmaking.
Sharabi and AlBiitar are united by the different ways they choose to reflect on a lived experience somewhere in-between. That transition bears the potential for them to navigate through the unknown and becomes a playing field for nostalgia, hyper-recollection and speculation that result in an attempt to reconcile with nature and the universe.

Art, therefore, becomes a refuge, a catalyst for hope, and a dialogue between ‘X’ and ‘Y’ who have moved from one country to another, from a singular to a plural state, and from realism to abstraction.


Alaa Sharabi:

Alaa Sharabi graduated with a Masters of Printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus in 2015. With an experimental period now over, his work favors the large-scale and represents an intersection between two worlds; painting and printmaking. The implementation of printmaking techniques directly onto the canvas provides a physical materiality that the artist enjoys. The overlapping of techniques allows the artist to countenance the possibilities of etching and painting, demonstrating a state of confusion as to the future of humanity and civilisations to come.



Juhayda AlBittar holds a Masters degree in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus in 2017. Her spontaneous yet delicate brush strokes translate the experiences and the memories of different times and spaces. Abstraction transforms the artist’s canvas into an emotional outlet, where her colourful palette decodes mixed feelings of nostalgia, hope and a deep-felt connection with nature. The artist’s lyricism conveys her philosophy of achieving self-transcendence through tapping into one’s subconscious and listening to our senses.


Founded in 2013, QØDE is a Jordan-based art space investing in and working with some of the Middle East’s most talented emerging artists to provide a platform for their growth and development. QØDE hosts and curates international exhibitions, acts as an agency for up-and-coming artists and provides art-consultancy and market research focusing on contemporary art from the region.

The exhibition will take place at QØDE Art Space, which is located on 8 Yousef Asfour Street, First Circle, Amman.

For further information please contact:

QØDE Art Space

+962 79 5210 237


Behind the Lines | Contemporary Syrian Art

A Travelling Exhibition Across Canada

Behind the Lines | Contemporary Syrian Art is travelling across Canada since 2016 until today with a new stop at Dawson Creek Art Gallery, 101, 816 Alaska Avenue Dawson Creek, BC V1G 4T6 Canada, January 28 – March 8, 2019.

Behind the Lines displays the work of 20 contemporary Syrian artists, first shown 2016 at the Penticton Art Gallery. The pieces are from a range of mediums, including sculpture, painting, drawing, mixed media, digital art and photography:

Omran Younis, Obaidah Zorik, Huda Takriti, Reem Tarraf, Maiesam Mallisho, Fadi Al Hamwi, Mahmood Al Daoud, Alaa Sharabi, Juhayda AlBitar, Mohammad Zaza, Lina Malki, Khaled Dawwa,  Ali Almeer, Khaled Youssef, Khaled Akil,  Ammart Khadour, Humam Alsalim, Rami Bakhos, Fadi Al Hamwi, Huda Takriti.

The first exhibition at the Penticton Art Gallery was co-curated by Penticton Art Gallery Curator – Paul Crawford and Syrian architect Humam Alsalim. Alsalim is the founder of Cyrrus Gallery, an online platform for the promotion of contemporary Syrian artists, and the co-founder of the non-for-profit SYRIA.ART – Association pour la Promotion de l’Art Contemporain Syrien that seeks to provide a diverse, open overview of the Syrian art scene, and to shed light upon the dynamism currently characterising Contemporary Syrian Art in Syria, Europe and the rest of the world.


In the midst of a conflict that has gripped the entire world, a connection created through art is thus bringing Canada and Syria closer together. Art has always been a venue for human expression in all cultures, and sometimes it seems the greatest pieces arise from our times of deepest suffering. With no end in sight to the current violence in the Middle East, some Syrians are turning to art as a way of coping and expressing to the world what the conflict is costing their country.

Syrian architect Humam Alsalim and Penticton Art Gallery Curator – Paul Crawford collaborated in 2015 via the internet to arrange for 100 works of art by these 20 Syrian artists to be sent out from behind the lines of the Syrian War to be first exhibited at the Penticton Art Gallery.

“This work is powerful, raw and striking and I think could be the most important exhibitions I have undertaken. I am indebted to Humam Alsalim for curating this exhibition from his home in Damascus. It’s been a real feat of trust on both sides and I think we are both in awe that it has come all together on time and as planned. In total he has brought together the following 20 artists some of whom are still living in Syria and some of whom have fled and re-established themselves outside of Syria.” Crawford explains.

Behind the Lines | Contemporary Syrian Art aims to explore conflict zones and to see the people of Syria through art. Most of the 20 artists featured here still live in Syria. They come from places made familiar through news reports like Damascus, Aleppo and Homs. Many are now in Damascus. Some have left Syria altogether.

Crawford has described the work as “a testament to the capacity of the human spirit”. He added, “I hope these exhibitions will help build an even greater understanding of the Syrian people, their art and culture.”


The works all reference the devastating situation in Syria or are informed by it. Humam Alsalim and Rami Bakhos’ Cultural Beheading series mourns and rages against both literal and metaphorical destruction. The body parts in Omran Younis’s paintings are a graphic reminder of the horrors of war. Those depicted in Lina Malki’s Displaced series have a palpable sorrow. Fadi al-Hamwi’s large paintings of X-rayed cow hybrids discloses the brutal animality of the human and how war provokes and exposes the dark side of humanity. Khaled Dawwa’s clay sculptures that appear to be vandalized or corroded by time are informed by his own experience: He was injured in a 2013 bombing, then arrested, imprisoned, and now exiled. Khaled Youssef’s photographs of bubbles are tragic in their fragility yet childlike, as the artist says, “Make bubbles not war”.

Behind the Lines is not for the faint of heart, but it also affirms the incredible capacity of the human spirit to not only survive the most unimaginable circumstances, but thrive. For those still living in Syria there are few opportunities to exhibit and as such they have nothing left to lose and are making art for the sake of art. Individually and collectively their powerful work stands as a testament to their existence and hopefully will inspire similar voices not only in Syria but also here in Canada. This exhibition is meant to build a greater understanding of the Syrian People, their art, rich culture, history and the turmoil their country is undergoing.

“Over the last year I could have never predicted or even fathomed how relevant this shows would become due to the change in our government and the influx of all these Syrian refugees to our communities,” Crawford says.

Tour History:

Penticton Art Gallery, Penticton, BC Canada
July 8 – September 11, 2016

Duncan United Church, 246 Ingram St, Duncan, BC Canada
November 27 – December 3, 2016

Brentwood College School,  Mt Baker Rd, Mill Bay, BC Canada
December 10 – 17, 2016

Yukon Art Center, College Drive, Whitehorse, Yukon Canada
December 08, 2016 – February 25, 2017

Gallery at The Military Museums, University of Calgary, Alberta Canada
October 12, 2017 – January 7, 2018

Arts Centre at Cedar Hill, 3220 Cedar Hill Road, Victoria BC Canada
January 24 – February 5, 2018

Mahon Hall, Salt Spring Arts Council (SSAC), 114 Rainbow Road, Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
February 16 – February 25, 2018

Langley Centennial Museum & Exhibition Centre, 9135 King St, Langley, BC V1M 2S2 Canada
Juni 9, 2018 – September 3, 2018

Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford, 32388 Veterans Way, Abbotsford BC V2T 0B3 Canada
September 27, 2018 – January 06, 2019

Dawson Creek Art Gallery, 101, 816 Alaska Avenue Dawson Creek, BC V1G 4T6 Canada
January 28 – March 8, 2019


– Paul Crawford, Penticton, British Colombia, Canada, Director of Penticton Art Gallery.

– Humam Alsalim, Berlin, Germany, founder of Cyrrus Gallery and the co-founder of the non-for-profit SYRIA.ART – Association pour la Promotion de l’Art Contemporain Syrien.

Khaled Barakeh . The Blue Hour

Between a lost identity and the belonging to a foreign culture

As part of the Days of Exile, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) showed from 16 November 2018 until 13 January 2019 works by Syrian Artist Khaled Barakeh.

In his work, the artist deals with long-term conflicts and their possible pacification, the experience of torture, flight and exile and how refugees cope with their war experiences, biographical breaks and with a new beginning. His approximately 20 works, some of which were created especially for the exhibition, address the phenomenon of transition. In doing so, he not only uses the medium of photography, but also works with numerous other forms of artistic expression.

The exhibition title The Blue Hour takes up a term familiar in many cultures and especially among photographers, which describes the phase of dusk before sunrise in the morning and after sunset in the evening. Barakeh transmits the picture to the situation of migrants, who find their way in a new society and at the same time have to cope with flight experiences and loss of home. The conflict between the lost identity, the unsecured status and the search for a new perspective and belonging to the foreign culture are marked by grief, insecurity and hope. There are sculptures, collages and media installations to be seen.


Barakeh’s Untitled Images (2014) show the brutal reality of the Syrian war. Mourning people carry their dying or killed relatives in their arms. The images testify to the cruelty of the war and at the same time to the violence that emanates from the act of showing through the media. Barakeh has cut out the silhouette of the body, leaving only a blank white space. It is his attempt to protect the deads from public display and to highlight their presence by extinguishing the bodies.

In his works Supple Cartographies and The Shake Barakeh deals with the problem of long-term conflicts and the difficulty of approximation of the various parties. Supple Cartographies (2018) cites the Japanese kintsugi technique, in which broken ceramic is supplemented with gold inserts. Barakeh transfers this artistic technique to the world map and connects the borders and breaklines between the warring states of the world with golden inserts.

For a long time Barakeh has been working on the sculpture Hands Across the Divide (2012) by the Northern Irish artist Maurice Harron. In this sculpture, which is located in the Northern Irish city of Derry, a Protestant and a Catholic are reaching out their hand, unable to join, however. With the work The Shake – Materializing Distance (2013-2018) Barakeh models the missing piece for a handshake. In The Shake – Did I Miss You Again (2018), replicas of Maurice Harron’s characters rotate against each other to the ticking of clocks that are set to different time zones, and so miss the handout.

A central theme of Barakeh’s work is the loss of identity. In his work The Master Plan (2018), he creates a city model of Damascus using the traditional technique of wood inlay art. With this work Barakeh criticized the modernist urban redevelopment in Damascus under the rule of the actual regime. Many traditional workshops – and thus also a part of the Syrian culture – were irretrievably destroyed for the construction of city highways and large squares. A special concern of Barakeh is the combination of Syrian and German themes and craft techniques. In the style of highly developed Islamic typeface Barakeh made in his work The Aperture (2018) a copy of the German Constitution (Grundgesetz) in calligraphy. In translating the text into Arabic script, the artist adopts liberal democratic values and also recalls that these values were also a central demand in the so-called Arab Spring.

Some works address the suffering and pain that victims of the conflict in Syria had to experience. In his work Damascus 17/02/2012 19:47:31 (2013), Barakeh abstracts the back injuries suffered by a friend through torture into a seemingly calligraphic sign that acts as a visible mark of violence and pain, and later as a scar inscribed in the body for life. In his work Regarding the Pain of Others (2013), he transforms a bier (funerary stretcher) that he brought out of Syria into a fallen throne, symbolizing the moral decline of the Syrian regime.

Born in 1976 in a suburb of Damascus, Syria, Khaled Barakeh graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus University in 2005, completed his MFA at Funen Art Academy in Odense, Denmark in 2010 and finished his Meisterschüler at the Städelschule Art Academy in Frankfurt a.M., Germany in 2013.

Cyffwrdd Syria ~ Touching Syria ~ An Exhibition

Cyffwrdd Syria ~ Touching Syria is a collaborative project connecting the arts of Wales and Syria.

Cyffwrdd Syria ~ Touching Syria exhibits SYRIA.ART’s first UK collection of contemporary art created from within Syria and from the Syrian diaspora, alongside Welsh contemporary artists at Storiel, Bangor from 12th January 2019 for 6 weeks.

1st venue: Storiel Museum and Art Gallery, Ffordd Gwynedd Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 1DT, North Wales UK
Dates: January 12, 2019 – February 23, 2019

2nd venue: Pontio Arts Centre, Bangor University, Deiniol Rd, Bangor LL57 2TQ, North Wales UK
Date: January 19, 2019

Featured works by Ammar Khadour

It is with the help of hugely talented, BAFTA nominated, Angharad Griffiths, and artist and designer Mishelle Kit that this ambitious art project took hold. Cyffwrdd Celf  was founded –a socially conscious and progressive arts organisation dedicated to using art to connect people and cultures. The project has been co-organized by SYRIA.ART and Khaled Youssef.

Sat 12th January 2019 will see the opening of Cyffrwdd Syria – Touching Syria.  A six-week exhibition to include, on the 19th Jan, a day of talks, projections, music, food and dance celebrating Syrian and Welsh culture.  It has been co-curated by Humam Alsalim and Menna Thomas, and includes artists from both Syria and Wales collaborating together for the very first time.

The artists that we have taking part, both from Wales, as well as Syria and the larger diaspora, are phenomenal.  Inspiring, emotional, powerful works, some of which has been created especially for this event.  There is to be music, talks, debates, film and even Syrian food prepared by a Welsh chef.  A celebration and a coming together, a discovery and a sharing of culture.

Featuring works by following Welsh and Syrian artists:

Ffion Dafis, Khaled Youssef, Lisa Gwilym, Ifor Ap Glyn, Omar Shammah, Catrin Menai, Bashar Farahat, Nizar Ali Badr, Manon Steffan Ros, Tania Al Kayyali, Menna Thomas, Humam Alsalim, Huda Takriti, Obaidah Zorik, Ammar Khaddour, Ayham Jabr, Maeisam Mallisho, Blodau Gwylltion, Oasis World Choir and Band.

Modern Art from Syria: “Painting is a Homeland”


Cultural Councilor Kaup-Hasler opened the group exhibition of seven Syrian artists in the “Kleine Galerie” in Wien, Austria, on October 24, 2018.

Modern Art from Syria – “Painting is a Homeland”: Under this title, the “Kleine Galerie” in Wien, Austria, showed works by seven artists in exile. They use a foreign, but then again familiar visual language, which draws from personal experiences, memories and stories. The largely expressive way of painting allows the conveyance of emotions, but also leaves room for maneuver. For many of the artists, as well as their own cultural tradition, the dealing with Western art also plays a role. 80 percent of Syrian artists have gone into exile, because art needs freedom. But art also represents a path to freedom.

Before the outbreak of the violent conflict in 2011, the contemporary art scene in Syria enjoyed relative freedom in expression. Of course, it was limited in its thematic range: content with political, religious or sexually connotation was not desired. The Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Damascus offered classes in painting, visual communication, sculpture, interior design, graphics (including printmaking) and wall painting. In addition, the faculty’s claim was to work scientifically. Not only the millennia-old culture, but also the very current contemporary art were present in Syria.

The “Kleine Galerie” featured works by Adel Dauood, Farouk Muhammad, Huda Takriti, Maram Matouk, Mohamad Kuty and Ramadan Hussien. Some of them have studied together or even taught at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Damascus. All have regularly exhibited their works in various galleries and showrooms internationally.

We saw painfully distorted bodies and heads, but also love-seekers reduced to the essentials (Ramadan Hussien), naive and intense portraits (Mohamad Kuty), dense forests and other natural landscapes, which dissolve in colorful color structures (Farouk Muhammad). We saw partly very young artists, such as Huda Takriti and Maram Matouk, who are looking for a new home in Austria and who bring us their own culture: “Painting is a Homeland” is a quote by Vincent Van Gogh, which for many of them is an important guiding principle and therefore also the logical title of the exhibition.

The exhibition will tour Austria in 2019.

Further information at http://www.kleinegalerie.at

Syria – The Garden of History: Calligrapher Khaled Al Saai

Khaled Al Saai has been working on a commissioned work for an exhibition from 21.09.2018 to 11.10.2018 in the Mschatta Hall of the Museum of Islamic Art, Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

From February 2019 onwards Khaled Al Saai’s painting “Syria – The Garden of History” will be exhibited in a major exhibition entitled “Cultural Landscape of Syria – Preservation and Archiving in Times of War”.


Khaled Al Saai uses Arabic calligraphy to express feelings and thoughts. He works in an astonishing range of styles, from subtle classical forms that he often uses for quotes from poetry, to radically inventive compositions in which lettering is fragmented into fantastical, almost pictorial, compositions. On his travels he was inspired by cities, landscapes and architecture, the hustle and bustle of people on the streets and the changing seasons. The letters and words of his works are not arranged in straight lines, but flow densely, detached from one-another, in the imaginary space of the canvas. The interwoven letters follow their own rhythm and combine with breathtaking beauty.

Khaled Al Saai, born in 1970 in Homs, Syria, grew up with painting, music and calligraphy. At eighteen, he had already made a name for himself as a calligrapher. After graduating from the University of Damascus, he became an internationally recognized master of Arabic calligraphy. Khaled Al Saai has participated in many international art competitions and has had numerous solo exhibitions in Europe and Middle Eastern countries.


More about the calligraphic artwork by Khaled Al Saai:

“Syria – The Garden of History” tells the story of Syria in different ways. Khaled Al Saai used photographs of the country of Syria and involved art of calligraphy, as the main structure of the painting. There are words or/and lines of poetry around each city to add another level to the paining.

An example: the story starts from the right with Damascus city, the name of the city is written in that space, surrounded with major key marks of this city, but the main structure of the city is based on one letter, which is (sh, ش ) that this letter has many metaphorical interpretations, which represents sun or orient and light, then the lines or surrounding words are a poem about Damascus, in the same space of Damascus there are over than 40 photos collaged, to give the whole dimensions of the city.

So Damascus is an example, but the main structure of the painting are letters and words for the 14 major Syrian cities, and each one has its unique story, as Hasaka حسكة (the city of early watering system, the city of old civilisations, etc), Latakia لاذقية (the city of methodology and early alphabet, the sailing center etc), Aleppo, حلب (the capital of Alhamdaneen state ,the city of Almutanabbi the greatest Arab poet ever, the sense of Arabic music etc).

Further information at https://www.freunde-islamische-kunst-pergamonmuseum.de/

Ammar Khadour

Ammar khadour was born in 1991 in Damascus (Syria) where he has been studying Law at Damascus University until 2017. He began his career as an artist when he started photography six years ago in Damascus. In November 2017, he was invited by Kulturvermittlung Steiermark to reside in Graz as an “artist in exile”. On May 29, 2018, he participated in the event Knafe, Artist talk and continue reading and check the new works!

Bucharest Art Week 2017 – Artists Fight Against the Syrian War

War Correspondence

Bucharest Art Week 2017 was this year one of the few major international events from Romania. The “War Correspondence” exhibition was organised by APAC(Romania) in partnership with SYRIA.ART in the framework of the BucharestArtWeek2017, and was co-curated by Humam Alsalim and Nona Șerbănescu.

Venue: Palatul Stirbei, Calea Victoriei, 107, 010069 Bucharest, Romania
Dates: October 14 – October 22, 2017
Curators: Humam Alsalim & Nona Șerbănescu

Syrian and Romanian art was exhibited. Among the featured artists, the exhibition hosted 6 Syrian artists.

Fadi Al-Hamwi | Syria
Humam Alsalim | Syria
Khaled Youssef | Syria
Manhal Issa | Syria
Nizar Ali Badr | Syria
Yaser Safi | Syria
Angela Bontas | Romania
Liviu Coman | Romania
Cristina Iacob | Romania
Mugur Grosu | Romania

Bucharest Art Week 2017 revolved around a deeply sensitive subject: the war in Syria and its consequences. The theme, “War correspondence”, arouse from a series of questions regarding the role of the artist and the meaning of contemporary art in the present context of war ravaging the Middle East and affecting the whole continent on political, administrative, social and cultural levels.

The theme was suggested by Nona Serbanescu, the founder and director of the festival, an artist who is emotionally tied to Syria, through her heritage. This year’s edition will bring together various fields of artistic expression, like theatre, music and visual arts, with guest artists both Syrian and Romanian, for example Yaser Safi, Fadi Al-Hamwi, Khaled Youssef and Humam Alsalim who is the co-curator of the central exhibition of the week together with Nona Șerbănescu.