in 2004, I started Attending the art school in Damascus. In 2006, I received the PLUS scholarship to finish my bachelors in Fine Arts at Indiana State University. I received my BFA in fine arts in 2008 and went back to Syria. During my stay in Syria 2008-10 I taught art at the Arab European University and worked as a translator as well. In 2013, I received my Master’s degree. I currently teach at the art department, Indiana State University.
Over the past few years, I traveled to many countries and participated in a number of symposiums, workshops and exhibitions in Europe and the Middle East.
It wasn’t so much about the subject matter back then, as much as growing with my painting, allowing every brush stroke to reshape me and introduce me to myself again and again. I painted insects, landscapes and portraits and experimented in watercolor, ink, pastel and oil paint.
In 2012, A year after the revolution started in Syria, I went back to see my family in Damascus. The visit completely changed my perspective and my sense of what home means. It was life changing in terms of how my surroundings had changed and how many people I had lost.
Shortly after my return to the U.S. I lost my uncle (Abas Abas). A writer, translator and lifelong activist for human rights, my uncle was one of the most influential people in my life. It was when I lost him that I realized that I lost my home. I started creating images in painting and printmaking that depicted what I experienced. For the first time in years, my subject and my process were working together in such harmony that I finally began to understand how far painting can be pushed in terms of process and concept, and how healing it can be.
Casualties become trivial numbers during times of war, and neighborhoods become insignificant remains. My current paintings are an attempt to create a visual memoir of what my beloved home is going through with all the passion, love, and sadness I feel inside.