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My friend, the French journalist, Francine Burlet and I travelled to Aleppo in 2010 to work on an article for “Voyage, Voyage” magazine, she to write the text and me to illustrate.

We had a GREAT time! We stayed in chic boutique hotels, ate delicious food, had great conversations with locals and marvelled at the ancient souq and magnificent citadel. The city was in World Cup frenzy and the only tensions were about football, and Brazil vs. South Africa. People were incredibly friendly and open, Christians and Muslims living side by side. My caption to the painting of the citadel was , “great place to sit and have a beer and watch the world go by”. We met so many adorable children playing in the mosque, under the shadow of the ancient minaret which is now flattened. These sketches were used in the publication, but I never turned them into finished paintings.

Within a year the subject matter was irrevocably changed, much of it no longer exists and the people are gone. But where? I want to find a way but I don’t know how to begin to express my sorrow at the tragedy has befallen the wonderful people of Syria.

Click here to read the full article.

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