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July 09, 2013


Photo: Portraits of Bashar al-Assad in Syria
Flickr user James Gordon

The Assad Family’s Portrait Artist

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An artist is “encouraged” to do a majestic portrait of an oppressive leader. He disdains the art and at the same time is dismayed when political change triggers the destruction of the art.

Nader Haj Kadour was commissioned to paint hundreds of official portraits of the late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, and then of his son, current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

As the Syrian civil war continues, Nader Haj Kadour is watching as forty years of his artwork is destroyed by rebels. This conversation was interpreted by Ahmed Fadaam, an Iraqi artist.


"Freetown" by Jeremiah McLane

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