SURUC, TURKEY —
Sherzad Ebrahim is on a mission.
The 27-year-old artist comes from the mostly Kurdish city of Afrin, in northwestern Syria. When he heard about the battle between Kurdish and Islamist fighters for Kobani, 200 kilometers to the east, he went to fight.
Ebrahim says he soon discovered that he is not a fighter.
So he decided to contribute the best way he could: He crossed the border to Turkey and began to paint.
“The fighter takes up arms to protect people. The writers, they write articles and poetry. And we help by painting for our people," Ebrahim says.
Some of the canvases he has on display at the main square in Suruc, Turkey, are disturbing.
Ebrahim says they aim to show the evil of the Islamic State group, known here by its Arabic acronym, Daesh.
“Daesh’s policy is clear. It’s all about bombing, blood, shelling and execution. We draw that, but through our own vision [way of seeing it],” he says.
Ebrahim says he hopes the battle for Kobani will be over soon. “Ensh-Allah [God willing] not one Daesh fighter will remain. And we will go back. And we will rebuild everything destroyed by Daesh," he says.
As his contribution to the struggle, Ebrahim says, he will donate the money from the sale of his paintings to the people of Kobani now living here as refugees.