I dedicate this blog post for the Lebanese man who took his life and left an Arabic note: 'I am not a Heretic'. Quoting a line from a famous political song performed and composed by a Lebanese musician and composer, Ziad Rahbani. My oil portrait of Ziad was completed in 2017, and I also quoted the same line in Arabic 'I am not a Heretic" to the left of the painting. Ziad is one of the figures that my father admired and respected due to his unconventional views of Lebanese society and politics, which mirrored my father's views. (Lebanon is where we are from). For those who do not know Ziad, he is a satirical songwriter and composer, and the son of the famous Lebanese singer Fairuz. He poked fun at Lebanese politics and the hypocrisy of the sectarian civil war that started in the '70s. He was more concerned for the common man than anything else. To this day his songs and plays resonate even more today with all the political and economical crisis that Lebanon is currently facing. It is no wonder when one Lebanese citizen lost all hope and tragically took his life, that he would quote that line from Ziad's song, which spoke of poverty and hunger.
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