World News

Syrian artist depicts Trump and other leaders as refugees

Posted June 13

A Syrian artist has re-imagined US President Donald Trump and 10 other world leaders as refugees in a series of paintings currently on display in Dubai.

Abdalla Al Omari, who has refugee status in Belgium, says his own experience with displacement prompted him to create The Vulnerability Series.

"Being a refugee is like having a new lump in your body that you had nothing to do with, and it will stay until the last day, so you better deal with it," Al Omari told CNN.

In the series, President Trump is portrayed as a refugee holding a young child; his belongings and a sleeping mat on his back, a photo of his family clutched in his right hand.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar Al Assad also feature. Putin, whose military has conducted airstrikes on Syria's rebel held areas, is depicted as a homeless person, while Assad appears partially submerged in water with only a paper boat to come to his aid.

In another painting entitled The Queue, a seemingly endless line of people waiting for food, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and former US President Barack Obama, is depicted.

While reactions to the series have been "90% positive," according to Al Omari, the artist also received a fair share of criticism.

"People are sometimes too fond of their politicians. They cannot see them fall off their thrones. They cannot see them weak," Al Omari told CNN.

The artist said his intention was not to disrespect world leaders, but to "give them back their humanity".

"Somehow my aim shifted from an expression of anger that I had...to a more vivid desire to disarm my figures, to picture them outside their positions of power."

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