“What a cruel thing war is…. To fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors…”
Robert E. Lee*
US Civil War
The words of Lee, have definitely reached the heart of the artist who he says that he “draws on death” and creates something for the living – from death.
These are the leftover casings of shells and bombs – weapons that were used in the war in Syria.
It is amazing how Syrians are reacting in the face of so much suffering and death; in war everyone suffers. If we wanted a source of hope and motivation, then it is definitely with the work of this artist – and others like him.
These works of art make us feel life – and hope – by looking at the artifacts of war and death very differently. As a Syrian citizen, I feel so proud to have such an artist in my country; he gives me the strength to continue, and demonstrates to me the proof that my country, Syria, will rise from death like a Phoenix.
And the question for me today, challenged by this artist, is what works of art will I, and my fellow Syrians, create today in Chicago for our homeland?
This is my Syrian Phoenix.
About the artist
*Born on January 19, 1807 in Stratford, Virginia, Robert E. Lee came to military prominence during the U.S. Civil War, commanding his home state’s armed forces and becoming general-in-chief of the Confederate forces towards the end of the conflict. Though the Union won the war, Lee has been revered by many while others debate his tactics. He went on to become president of Washington College.