Today, the Annual International Cartoon Festival announced the names of the winners of its 20th session at a ceremony titled (A tribute to the spirit of the martyr artist Naji Al-Ali and the resistance in Palestine) in the Drama Hall of the Assad House for Culture and Arts in Damascus.
In the competition, in which more than 300 artists from 63 countries participated, the first places went to the Iranian artist Ismail Babaei in first place, the Russian artist Anatoly Radin in second place, and the Cuban artist Javier Torres in third place. The jury included arbitrators from Indonesia, China, Romania and Egypt, and all Syrians participated in it. From Nidal Qawshah, Wissam Asaad, and Mowafaq Makhoul.
The ceremony program included an exhibition that included more than 100 cartoon works selected from the works participating in the competition in this session, then a short film was shown about the life and works of the martyr artist Naji Al-Ali and how he was assassinated by the treacherous Zionist hand, then a short cartoon film entitled Al-Wajbah, after which the results were announced and Maestro Adnan Fath was honored. Allah then led the Syrian National Band for Arabic Music for half an hour, presenting various instrumental pieces of music.
Regarding the importance of the festival and its message, the Minister of Culture, Dr. Labana Mashouh, said in a statement to reporters: The festival in this session paid tribute to the spirit of the martyr Palestinian artist Naji Al-Ali, the character of the resistant child Hanzala, who is still alive today and represents generations of Arabs who have resisted and are still resisting Zionist crime and terrorism. With all the symbolism this character carries through his rootedness in his land and homeland, showing that Syria was and will remain with the Palestinian cause, and this festival today presents diverse and important works at the world level with the art of caricature to unite the word of free peoples against the false and biased policies of Western governments.
In turn, the artist Raed Khalil, director of the festival and its founder since 2005, explained that this session witnessed wide participation from all parts of the world with important and diverse works in its proposals after the festival became an essential station for the art of caricature at the world level, stressing that the festival’s management wanted to say to the Palestinian people and the resistance that we are with them in Confronting the Zionist enemy through the art of caricature, which this enemy fears and fears because of its ability to expose its lies before world public opinion.
Muhammad Samir Tahan
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