Syria’s women prisoners, drawn by an artist who was one

By Lina Sinjab and Anne Barnard
Tal El Mlouhi, a blogger detained since 2009.
This is Hiam, a 65-year-old woman smoking a cigarette and sipping matteh, a warm herbal drink popular in Syria. It is a moment of solitude in a soul-crushing place; the bed is a prison bed. Hiam spent two and a half years in prison, most likely for the simple reason that she came from an area that rebelled against President Bashar al-Assad’s government. The artist who drew her, Azza Abo Rebieh, was one of 30 women sharing a cell with Hiam in the Adra prison in Damascus. Then 36, Ms. Abo Rebieh was on her own surreal journey through the Syrian security system, detained because of her art and her activism. Risking arrest, she painted graffiti murals about the protest movement. [More]
“They Carried Him — The Shame”CreditTrustees of the British Museum