Outpouring of cartoons in solidarity with Syria's Ali Ferzat

Ahram Online, Tuesday 30 Aug 2011

Cartoons have erupted on social networking sites and in newspapers worldwide in solidarity with the Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, who was beaten up in a clampdown by the authorities


The fateful incident of Ali Ferzat’s beating by masked gunmen of the Syrian Shabiha on 25 August has instigated an outpouring of solidarity cartoons.

In the English edition of the Lebanese Al Akhbar, Nidal al-Khairy drew a large hand in a cast, which depicts Ferzat’s hands that got broken from the beatings, while three men, smaller than the hand, are desperately trying to stab it. The cartoon says, “The hands of the people are above their hands.”

The French cartoonist Jean Plantureux , who is known as Plantu, has also drawn a solidarity cartoon for the French Le Monde, which also got published in Ali Ferzat’s official website. The website was blocked for days after the incident but is now functioning again.

Plantu’s cartoon shows one of Ferzat’s cartoons that condemned the massacre in Syria with Ferzat on the side with two casted hands and a pen in his mouth that writes “Vive la liberite”.

Ferzat’s cartoon that Plantu chose depicts the death symbol (the cloaked man with a scythe) on a theatre stage with audience members that look like high officials, clapping heavily.

Nate Beeler in the Washington Examiner has drawn two hands in casts with blood gushing out of them seeping on the floor and making the shape of Bashar Al-Assad.

In Egypt, several cartoonists for different newspapers also drew reactionary cartoons. Walleed Taher, the cartoonist of Al Shorouk newspaper drew a map of the Arab region with a screaming face that’s coming out of Syria that says “They beat up Ali Ferzat, World”.

Al Masry Al Youm’s Abdallah also drew a cartoon of a man with two amputated hands, who was wondering how another person had guessed that he is a cartoonist.

Other than newspapers, websites and social networking platforms are also filled with cartoons in solidarity with Ferzat.

A number of members in the website toon pool have drawn cartoons depicting him in his hospital bed, or portraying Bashar Al-Assad threatened by the pen or Ferzat’s hands.

Similarly, Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff, who gives special attention to the Arab region, has drawn a rifle with its tip as a pen, chasing Bashar Al-Assad while Yara Kassem, who publishes her cartoons on Facebook and Twitter drew a pen moving towards the head of Al-Assad. 

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