Origin | Syria, Palestine
Currently located | Switzerland
Languages | Arabic, French, English
Key themes | Human rights, displacement, war, family, social media
Hani Abbas is a prolific, world-renowned cartoonist who was born in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus, Syria. Abbas creates visceral, provocative cartoons that have been featured in numerous international news outlets including Al Jazeera, Al-Wahda Newspaper (UAE), Oman Newspaper, Geroun Media Network (Qatar), Hebdo Magazine (Switzerland), SwissInfo, and Roman Magazine.
Abbas, drawing from the heart, has a keen sense of how to put a human face on issues as difficult as war, oppression, and loss, and as a result, his cartoons resonate around the world. In 2012, threatened by the Syrian intelligence services because of his drawings, Abbas was forced to leave Syria for Lebanon; today, he continues drawing and publishing from Switzerland. In May 2014, the late UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Geneva Mayor Guillaume Barazzone awarded Abbas with one of the highest international recognitions in cartooning, the Editorial Cartoon International Prize (Prix International du Dessin de Presse).
A member of Cartoonist for Peace, Abbas has won a number of other awards, including the Freedom of Expression Prize in Doha in 2013, Cartooning for Peace Foundation Award, Geneva, and First Place in the Syrian Professional Painters Competition for four years. His work has been featured in several exhibitions internationally, regularly serves on juries to judge cartooning competitions, and teaches art and cartoons at the Geneva International School.