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This Syrian Artist Wants World Leaders To Know What It Feels Like To Be Refugees

"Maybe they will feel what it feels like to be vulnerable," said Abdalla Al Omari, who created a series of paintings that show prominent world leaders as displaced civilians.

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Omari has spent the last 19 months working on a project in which he reimagines world leaders as displaced civilians.

Abdalla Al Omari / Via Facebook: pg

The Vulnerability Series, according to Omari, takes away all the strength and charisma from the leaders and shows them in moments of despair.

"I wanted to take away their power not to serve me and my pain but to give those leaders back their humanity and the audience an insight into what the power of vulnerability can achieve," Omari wrote in a statement about his exhibition.

Omari shared some of the series' paintings with BuzzFeed News:


"There is a lack of personalization of the stories of refugees ... so I found myself obliged to send message to those leaders," Omari said. "Those leaders were partly responsible for the displacement of Syrians. Maybe they will feel what it feels like to be vulnerable."


"Initially I was driven by my own experience of displacement and anger that I felt like any other Syrian," Omari said. "Somehow my aim shifted from an expression of anger ... to a more vivid desire to disarm the characters and to picture them outside of their positions of power."


Omari's Vulnerability Series is on solo exhibition at the Ayyam gallery in Dubai, open to public until July 6.

Anup Kaphle is a deputy world editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London. His secure PGP fingerprint is AA69 A7F0 91A0 8CF9 F06A 8343 05EE 4615 8CD5 33D8.

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