Ashura: Why does Karbala inspire painters to this day?

  • Sana Khoury
  • Religious Affairs Correspondent – BBC News Arabic

photo released, AFP

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An Iraqi painter in one of Sadr City’s studios in 2006

What can unite an Indian living in California, with a Lebanese from the south? They like the same soccer team? maybe. Do they share watching the same series on Netflix? possibility too.

Nabi Haider Ali of India, and Ali Najdi of Lebanon, do not know each other. However, when I asked the two of them about an artist influenced by his works, he told me about the Iranian painter Mahmoud Farshjian.

Nabi and Ali are two painters in their twenties, posting their work on Instagram, both Shiite Muslims who use drawing to express their faith and commemorate Ashura each year.

Mahmoud Farshjian is a well-known Iranian artist, at the age of ninety. He is considered one of the most prominent painters of the famous Al-Tuff incident. His works had a great impact in Iran and abroad, and this extended to generations of younger plastic artists.

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