Artists Capture a Bloody Ramadan in Syria

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.

Ramadan in Syria according to Osama Hajjaj

Ramadan in Syria according to Osama Hajjaj

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):

@Sana_English: #Syria‘s Health Minister: Decision to raise medicine prices intended to preserve medicine security

Homs is under siege, so is Aleppo and many other cities across the war-torn country.

Syrian Amal Hanano summarizes the situation in one of her tweets:

@AmalHanano: On the 1st day of Ramadan, #Aleppo is starving. Dollar is up to 300 Syrian Pounds. No food or medicine to be found. #Syria

Even religious buildings have not been spared.

@GotFreedomSYA 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:

Ramadan Kareem from Tammam Azzam

Ramadan Kareem from Tammam Azzam

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:

There is no one left to wake up for the Suhoor in Syria

There is no one left to wake up for suhoor (meal at sunrise before the daily fast) in Syria


A Ramadan Crescent dripping blood along side a full moon made of the names of Syrian towns. Photo posted on Art and Freedom Facebook Page

Maher Abul Husn sees a Ramadan Hazeen (Sad) in Syria. A Ramadan Crescent dripping blood alongside a full moon made of the names of Syrian towns. Photo posted on Art and Freedom Facebook Page.

See how Bashar [Syria's president] is distributing Food for the Iftar.

During the month of Ramadan a Cannon is used to remind people it is time to break their fasting and have their iftar meal.

During the month of Ramadan cannons are fired to indicate to people the time to break their fast and have their meal. In this caricature, posted on Basma Souria Page (Syrian Fingerprint), Bashar is seen bombing Syrian towns and cities

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.

We apologize this year from the Arabs for not broadcasting "Bab Al Hara" The Neighborhood's Gate" series (one of the post popular Series in the Arab World, usually aired during Ramadan) because Bachar hasn't left any Hara (Neighbourhood)

We apologize this year to Arabs for not broadcasting “Bab Al Hara” [The Neighborhood's Gate] series (one of the popular series in the Arab world, usually aired during Ramadan) because Bashar hasn't left any Hara (Neighbourhood)

All photographs in this post are used with the permission of the artists.

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