Thumb sm
The Choice of Democracy, Kafranbel
Kafranbel, Syria
By Mais Istanbuli
14 Apr 2013

Every week, Ahmad Jalal, a young dentist in the city of Kafranabel, Syria makes controversial drawings about the Syrian regime, its allies, and the international community. Each drawing is a protest against the international community's declarations about Syria, or a denunciation of human rights abuses committed by the Syrian regime. Every week a banner is also made and echos the messages found in the drawings.

Unknown before the beginning of the Syrian revolution in 2011, Kafranbel is a small city that has become an icon of the Syrian uprising. Located in the Idlib region of North-Western Syria, in a zone controlled by the Free Syrian Army's Knights of the law brigade, this small city is now becoming known for its caricatures and banners.

The text on the caricatures and banners of Kafranabel is written in English in order to "reach the international public opinion more that the governments, as [the governments] have never done something for us since the beginning of the revolution", Ahmad Jalal says. Ahmad Jalal also tries to use the caricatures as a way to promote Syrian unity. Some drawings and messages have been dedicated, for instance, to Qamishli, a predominantly Kurdish city in the north-east of the country which is under the control of the PYD, a Kurdish independence party. After two years of revolution and war, Kafranbel is trying to lead the fight against sectarianism and is fast becoming a model for the rest of the Syrian population opposed to the regime, but keeping hope for a unified Syria.