From when did you start doing wall graffiti?
I am a media activist and drawing is my passion. I started painting on walls around 2010. But my work increased at the beginning of the Syrian revolution, as I was beginning to write slogans and draw the flag of the revolution on the walls of the town.
Where are you based?
I hail from Deir Ezzor but I have lived in Damascus since my childhood. In 2018, I was forcibly displaced from Damascus to Idlib.
What has been the role of graffiti in the Syrian resistance?
Wall writings were the spark, from which we set out to gain freedom. The writings on the walls sent out the messages aloud. It was a catalyst for our people to resist the criminality of the regime. These were messages that urged resilience. Also, the whole world could see that from the ruins we made art and amidst destructions we made the rubbles speak. The drawing on the walls delivered our voice that many did not want to hear with their ears.
Do you also work with photographers?
I prefer to work independently, that is, I do not follow any party. I try to convey reality with all transparency. But this is difficult, so it is necessary to resort to drawing or any method that can communicate my voice and convey the suffering of people. I use photography of documenting bombing, massacres and human rights violations. Sometimes, I write on my palm, take photograph and upload online.
How much risk and harassment you had to face?
I was arrested many times... tortured. It was so painful that I tried to commit suicide. Twice I was arrested by the Syrian regime. Once I was arrested by ISIS. Another time I had a narrow escape from landing in ISIS’ hands. Then, Jabhat Al Nusra nabbed me twice and one was detained by AbabilHouran.
So, you have been arrested by all the groups, except for free Syrian army?
Unfortunately Horan belongs to the Free Army. The area was very complicated, but people with bad manners arrested me... They knew that I am a revolutionary activist ... However, I was abused for two months, and despite the intervention of all activists in the region to release me, they refused ... Yes, the Free Army is good, but not without some misfortune.