Akram Abo Alfoz paints on the atrocities left by the war, that has consumed his home. Also known as Mohammad Douma, the 35-year old father of three children, paints to spark hope with those who remain within his community, and to remind the world of the beauty in Syrian resilience. Using discarded bombs, bullets, rocket and mortar shells, he transforms them into beautiful ornaments. Alfoz creates art so he can show the world that Syrians are not terrorists, they are peaceful people and that bombing and killing innocent people can never be justified.
After losing his home and loved ones, Alfoz has taken it upon himself to walk out of the devastation with a purpose. He calls his art "Painting on Death." Alfoz says that no experience can be worse than losing loved ones, seeing homes being blown up or the country called home become a pile of cement and rubble,. The deaths and the uncertainty are bound to bend and break a person. Yet this painter, who used to paint on glass before his world got blown into bits of pieces, has decided to embrace the enemy through his art.
Alfoz has his own set of unique traditional arabesques design style and incorporates that to color the mortar and bullet shells. The result is far beyond what is expected to be seen in a war zone. The beautiful and intrinsic patters, cover the cruelty and grotesqueness of the war and instead show the spirit of freedom, hope and love for his country that took the Syrians to the streets in Douma, and throughout the country.
The besieged city of Douma lies in the east of the Syrian capital Damascus in an area called Eastern Ghouta. According to the United Nations, there are 282,500 people under siege by the Syrian regime in the region.
In an interview with Newsy, Alfroz claimed to have many reasons behind this new medium of painting, one being to teach his children to not be afraid of bombs or weapons. He decorates these deadly bombs and bullets also "to send a message to the whole world that we are people of peace and love and we are not terrorists as the Syrian regime claims." Alfoz hopes his art will serve as a testimony "to the cruelty of the countries that help in our annihilation such as Russia, Iran and the Syrian regime."