Syrian artist finds fame by painting grenades and mortar shells

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Syrian artist finds fame by painting grenades and mortar shells

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Facebook/Akram Abu al-Fawz
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In the seven years since the start of the Syrian civil war, images of bombings, war-torn buildings and bloody violence have been burned into the minds of millions inside and outside the country. But one man in the besieged town of Douma, eastern Ghouta, is changing all that – by turning mortar shells and bullet casings into art.

Father-of-three Akram Abu al-Fawz, collects used ammunition and military attire to make stunning sculptures and paintings.

Through his art, he aspires to express the voices of Syrians and their resistance to the Assad regime by finding inspiration from the war around him.

His Facebook page Painting on Death showcases his finely detailed, politically-charged works which have given him a global audience.

Akram says he had a natural gift for painting as a child, but grew up to sell mobile phones for a living, as well as paint glass and decorate peoples’ homes.

But as the revolution unraveled he dropped his day jobs and embraced his artistic passion once again in 2014.

Since then, his art has exhibited internationally in Washington and Doha, but Akram’s life is far from comfortable.

When asked about how he manages family life in Douma, he told Euronews: “The life we live is not human: Most of our time is spent in shelters that lack light and are not fit for human habitation.

"I dream of the safety of my city and children, and the end of the threat to our lives and our future in heaven and on earth.

“I dream of restoring my humanity, my rights and the rights of the children of my city."