Mubarak, (blessed) kareem (generous) or peaceful, are the usual words that come to mind during Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting when families and communities joyfully come together to pray and break their daily fasts.
But for artists depicting the holy month in Syria – blood, violence and helplessness are the only words that seem to fit. Since protests first began in March 2011 during the Arab Spring, Ramadan in Syria has not been mubarak, or kareem, and especially not peaceful.
What is really going on in Syria? Nobody can really tell. But what everyone can see are the countless people being killed, dozens kidnapped and hundreds forced to flee their homes everyday.
The UN recently said that the Syrian conflict is “drastically deteriorating” with up to 5,000 people dying every month. And it seems Ramadan this year will be no different than any other month. It might even be worse. Both camps seem to have turned a deaf ear to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's plea to stop violence. To add insult to injury, food and medicine prices are soaring. According to The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA):
Syrian Amal Hanano summarizes the situation in one of her tweets:
Even religious buildings have not been spared.
@GotFreedomSY: A Mosque I could once see from our balcony in Syria is now burning to ruins. One of many Mosques the Assad regime is destroying in Ramadan.
Syrian artists also to depict the situation through many works of art, available online.
Here's how Tammam Azzam draws the famous Ramadan Crescent or moon:
And here's sad Suhoor (the meal people have before they start their fast at dawn) by artist Hicham Chemali posted on “Syrian Revolution Caricature” Facebook Page:
See how Bashar [Syria's president] is distributing Food for the Iftar.
From Jordan, caricaturist Osama Hajjaj also sympathizes with the plight of his Syrian neighbors and brothers.
But despite everything, Syrians still resort to humor, even if it is black, to carry on with their lives. This photo is going viral on Twitter and on Facebook.