See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Merry Christmas from Syrian Artists

Syrian Christians quietly celebrate Christmas as the nation's war enters its forth year, marking a death toll of more than 100,000 people and the displacement of millions to neighboring countries seeking shelter.

With shelter, came a stark winter and a prayer of return, according to an Al Jazeera report

This year, Syria witnessed a great deal of havoc, death, and a tremendous amount of kidnappings that left most of its citizens hopeless. This hopelessness can be seen in the works of artists who, at times, express a nation's distress in a single artwork better than a million words.

Depictions of Santa in Syrian Artworks

Emulating kidnappings in Syria, Jawad painted an abducted Santa in ragged clothes, kneeling on his knees at gunpoint:

[Photo source: Art by Jawad Facebook Page]

[Photo source: Art by Jawad Facebook Page]

In another artwork by Anas Salameh, Santa's corpse is being carried out of Syria's Al Yarmouk Refugee Camp for Palestinians:

[Photo source: Anas Salameh's Facebook profile]

[Photo source: Anas Salameh's Facebook profile]

Santa is also seen in tears as his gifts arrived a little too late for Syria's martyred children:

Done by Comic4 Syria كوميك لأجل سوريا [Photo Source: Comic4 Syria كوميك لأجل سوريا Facebook Page]

Done by Comic4 Syria كوميك لأجل سوريا [Photo Source: Comic4 Syria كوميك لأجل سوريا Facebook Page]

Here, he sits alongside their graves in mourning:

Artwork by Wissam Al Jazariry [Photo Source: Wissam Al Jazariry Artworks Facebook Page]

Artwork by Wissam Al Jazariry [Photo Source: Wissam Al Jazariry Artworks Facebook Page]

The Holiday Spirit: Jingles, Christmas Trees, and Ornaments

A skit playing off the Jingle Bills Christmas song calls for freedom and the ousting of Bashar Al-Assad. The creator, known as Mogwli Mowgli, has died under torture:

Anwar Al Eissa paints a metaphoric ornament soaked in blood, hanging in a freezer, as if depicting the dire freezing conditions many Syrians are going through this Christmas:

[Photo Source: Anwarts Facebook Page]

[Photo Source: Anwarts Facebook Page]

Amjad Wardeh paints a Christmas tree out of an explosion's aftermath:

Whereas Hani Abbas creates it out of refugee tents:

[Photo Source: Hani abbas cartoon]

[Photo Source: Hani abbas cartoon]

Aleppian artist Mohamad Alweis writes “Merry Christmas” with a snowflake made of mortar shells and missiles, subtly commenting on the 100 barrels that fell over Aleppo this past week:

[Photo Source: Mohamad Alweis's Facebook Profile]

[Photo Source: Mohamad Alweis's Facebook Profile]

However, with darkness arises a flicker of hope and belief in a better tomorrow. Watch as Syrian filmmaker Eyad Aljarod films Saraqeb's children, Muslims and Christians, celebrate Christmas and share their dreams:

Bells 2013 – أجراس 2013 from eyad aljarod on Vimeo.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site