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Syrian artist shows trauma of war in charcoal sketches

Published on Feb 10, 2014 1:58 AM

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A woman curls up in grief in a darkened room - an artist's image as powerful as any of the thousands of photos and videos from Syria's civil war flashing across the world's computer and television screens.

The sketch is the work of 63-year-old painter and illustrator Youssef Abdelke, who stayed on in his Damascus studio as scores of his contemporaries left to escape a conflict approaching its fourth year.

While activists and state journalists are out on the front line recording every shell blast and clash, silver-haired Abdelke has found his own more personal way of reporting on the hardships of fellow Syrians, using charcoal and paper.

"I think all the works in one way or another try to express the concerns and emotions of the ordinary Syrian citizen amid this huge river of blood," he told Reuters at a gallery in Beirut where dozens of his works were on display.

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