Talk with Ali ferzat in mcast
The talk was held in the MCAST hall on Thursday 17th November where Ali Ferzat addressed a talk to the Degree Level students with regards to the struggles he faced being a cartoonist and why he is still doing what he loves the most even if he has his life on line.
The first question he was asked was if he was still willing to take risks after the trauma he went through of being kidnapped and tortured. He replied with saying that caricature is something you are born with, you are born with a talent, and he confirms and puts himself under the category of being born with a talent. He said that an artist should practice what he preaches otherwise there is no credibility for him. There is a moral aspect in art which goes against politics and he says he's not a politician but the difference between his cartoons and politics that politics continuously changes. Ali Ferzat stated that his mission is to make politicians stand barefoot on a very hot ground, meaning that he wants to disturb them and make their life a living hell.
What I understood from this was that with his cartoons, he wants to make the government feel what the Syrians are feeling right now, pain, suffering and fear. Since he has the talent to show that angst there is against the government with his drawings, he would be defeating the whole point of using his gift for a good cause, to spread courage to the people of Syria.
Ferzat said that in Syria there is an international interest to the war. He said that the mafia was the one to create the war which is then creating interests in the broken country. The business that is being created by the mafia in turn is making Syria remain in war. Ali Ferzat then said a phrase which to me really put me in thought; the Syrians believe that the revolution is still clean, meaning that the revolution of Syria is still for the Syrians so they would be free.
Basically what is happening in Syria is that the Syrians are making a revolution where they want to be free from the war that the mafia is creating for business. What I do know is that from wars a lot of money is spent for weapons but who is providing the money? Is it the international interest Ferzat mentioned earlier? Corruption basically always creates personal interests which then may turn into war.
The mafia don't want a change because they are benefiting from the suffering and the war. He mentioned drug dealing, exchanging of human body parts which for me I had never heard of or would have ever passed through my mind that people can be so shallow to not only kill the innocent but trade their bodies for money. Dirty politics is what he rejects and criticizes.
The art of the world and the drawing is more powerful than any weapon on earth. He said that he doesn't carry any weapons, his only weapon is the pencil and since it shook the whole world it means that what he's doing is working. That statement gave me courage to not give up in doing what I love the most and to not be scared of what society may put upon me. I feel that if I am capable of passing a message through drawing and I need to send a strong message, than nothing is holding me back but fear. I should not be a coward and should face my fears, it is obviously easier said than done, but I have to start from somewhere.
Since he criticizes the highest ranking person in Syria it automatically gave courage to the people after 50 years of the dictatorships. He said that his drawings are used during protests which means that they are understood by the people. When the art helps the people give themselves a voice, Ali Ferzat said that it is the people of Syria that have given him the protection of not being murdered. I notice that nowadays on social media and historically on books and even in paintings, a story can be told. Sometimes art is capable of passing a stronger message than words do.
The cartoons carry the people's problems and when asked if his drawings can be used for western problems he said that there is no difference because the problems would be effecting the whole world. He said that Western problems can be nothing compared to the problems in Syria; to give a comparison, Ferzat said that in Sweden an example of a protest is the increase in butter where as a protest in Syria is for freedom and health.
Ferzat stated that when he used to print a satirical newspaper, he had to print in the morning and the evening because the papers would disappear since the government doesn't want to show the reality of what is going on. This is clearly a form of dictatorship and it reminds of the book of Animal Farm by George Orwell where the sheep follow the pig Napoleon and what he says is sacred, dictatorship want the people to be sheep, but Ali Ferzat decided to be Snowball the other pig, who rebelled against Napoleon so that the animals would live a better life in the farm. (I STRONGLY suggest that you read Animal Farm and 1984 by George Orwell!)
Ali Ferzat said that he was voted one of the most influential people in the world by Time Magazine which means that what he's doing is working.
He said that he wasn't the only one that was attacked by the regime in Syria but other artist and writers were assaulted because they wanted these people dead since they are showing the truth. These people rearrange the corrupt propaganda which the regime is doing. I believe that in Malta this has to be enforced much more because the politicians still do whatever they want. Even though we live in a democratic country, I still feel that the politics in Malta needs to be penalized much more for what is happening behind the curtains and those fake smiles which make us believe that what they're doing is justified and the best thing for us Maltese.
Ali Ferzat said that there is NO DIFFERENCE between the Islamic State and the Regime because they both kill the thinkers, writers, artists and musicians.
There are 2 different situations in Syria one is the real clean revolution of the Syrians and the second is the international war that is happening in Syria. This is a really sad situation because a lot of innocent people and children are being killed EVERYDAY for the benefit of the international war and mafia. The scariest thing is that the world is showing us that they are trying to help Syria whereas they honestly want the regime to remain in power!
He said that it cannot be a civil war if the Syrians have mixed religious beliefs, the mafia wants to make us believe that it is a civil war so they keep on making money! He did not stop stressing this statement throughout the whole talk since he knows that the news would not say such things!
Ali Ferzat ended the talk with this quote,
"Justice will one day go but Syria will be forever for Syrians!"
Such a powerful quote to end a very well spoken talk. I really enjoyed meeting and listening to such a talented and intelligent person whom is courageous and let's nothing stop him from getting what he wants, freedom for Syria and freedom for the Syrians!
All photographs were taken by me. The above text was has no references to any websites, it was only taken from the talk in MCAST.