Syrian artist depicts world leaders as vulnerable refugees

DUBAI, June 6 (Reuters) - A Syrian refugee artist has spent 19 months creating a series of paintings in his Brussels studio showing world leaders as displaced or disenfranchised people and is showing them in a Dubai gallery.

Abdalla Al Omari’s “The Vulnerability Series” includes paintings of U.S. President Donald Trump as a bedraggled refugee with a sleeping child in his arms, Russian President Vladimir Putin as a beggar, as well as former British Prime Minister David Cameron and former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“My aim somehow shifted from an expression of anger to a more vivid desire of disarming these figures, (to) picture them outside their positions of power”, Omari told Al Jazeera.

Omari started painting in Damascus shortly after the start of the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011. He fled and was granted asylum in Belgium.

Gallery visitor Sami Azraq said the portraits were a unique take on the refugee crisis.

“I do think it’s an interesting way or it’s a nicer way to look at the problem rather than our usual news or social media or other outlets,” he said. (Reporting by Rose Wyatt and Tarek Fahmy; Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London)