Ali Farzat`s drawing “remixed” for propaganda purposes

This cartoon allegedly made by Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat was posted on Damascus News Network (DNN) Facebook page.

DNN is a pro-regime activists` group that has been active in Syria since the first months of the revolution. When I first saw Ali Ferzat`s drawing, with sheep following a bearded man and carrying the sign “freedom” (hurryia) I could hardly believe that. I`m just back from London and I`ve spent some quality time with Ali, he doesnt seem the kind of person who buys into the “salafist revolution” narrative cooked to scare secular people and minorities.

Such a drawing, with such an incendiary text against Louay Hussein (leader of the opposition movement “building a civil society”) looked so much not Ali Ferzat. Then, the miracles of the web. You ask the community, the community answers.

Syrian tweep @BSyria immediately sent me the original drawing, this one here below, which was taken from his website, put out of context and re-mixed by a Photoshop skilled guy, I suppose. Then it was posted on DNN just to support that incendiary post and prove that even the secular elite, artists and intellectuals like Ali, are scared by this “Islamic” revolution.

Propaganda war is unfortunately still alive and kicking in Syria, in broadcast media as much as on the Internet.

For Ali Farzat, Syrian cartoonist

Today is one of the gloomiest days in Syria history and in history of self expression and creativity. Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat was kidnapped by non-identified people, in the center of Damascus, blinded and furiously beaten. Then he was abandoned, while bleeding, in the road to Damascus airport.

“Many people just passed by”, told me his son, who I have been knowing for a long time, a poet and TV director. “They were probably too scared to help him, intimidated by the violence”.

His hands have been broken,  a clear warning against his creativity which has always been critical of power.

Ferzat, 60, was born in Hama. He was the founder of “Doumari”, the most important satirical newspaper in Syria. In the 80s, he started publishing on Le Monde and came to be known as one of the most creative and critical intellectuals in the Arab world.

His website is currently out of order, probably due to too many visitors today. There is a Facebook page, “We are all Ali Farzat”, to support the cartoonist and his work.

Some of his most recent caricatures have heavily criticized Syrian government and especially some prominent business-figures, like Rami Makhlouf (owner  of Syriatel telco company) closely related to the ruling family.

(the drawing says : Rami Makhlouf)

So far, Syrian government has not expressed any official statement or feeling whatsoever in reaction of what happened to Ali Farzat. Syrian state news agency Sana has not reported the news yet, while all international and Arab media outlets have, since this morning.

 

(the guy is pointed at as “mn7hbbakji”, an expression taken from “mn7hbbak” -we love you- a slogan widely used in Presidential campaign in support of Bashar al Asad).