Artistic webzine on migration, borders, human rights
From one tent to the next: a heart-wrenching symmetry runs through the recent history of the peoples of Palestine and Syria. War, exile, separation, yet always hope, including through self-expression. Born into the Yarmouk refugee camp, Damascus, Hani Abbas is a Syrian-Palestinian cartoonist, well-known ‘home’ and ‘abroad’ for the simple yet poignant symbolism of his works, and for continuously challenging, with his pencil, what he calls “the scissor of the oppressor”.
Two years into the Syrian civil war, Abbas escaped to Lebanon with his wife and their five-year-old son. He is now in Switzerland, waiting to obtain a residence permit in order for his family to join him. Whilst waiting, he continues to draw, and to hope. “The future is mysterious,” he says. “Now we’re seeing an entire generation lost to war. My hopes for the future are not personal; they’re for my people. My hopes are for peace, and only for peace. I’m married to a Syrian girl and our son carries two nations in his heart.” Soon enough, hopefully, those two nations will become three.
Hani Abbas’ cartoons have appeared in newspapers and exhibitions in several Arab and European countries. He was awarded second place in the 2013 World Press Freedom Award. Many more of his cartoons can be seen on his Facebook page.