Samir Salma, the revolutionary Palestinian artist dies at 74 in Paris
By: Ingi Rashed
Fri, Aug. 17, 2018
CAIRO – 17 August 2018. Samir Salma, the revolutionary Palestinian artist died on Thursday, at the age of 74 in Paris, France. Salama was born in the city of Safad on the same day of his death, Aug. 16, 1944.
After the Palestinian defeat in 1948 known in the Arab region as “Nakba” (The Catastrophe), he was forced to move with his family to Galil city, and then to the village of Bint Jbeil in Lebanon.
The popular Syrian artist Adham Ismail played a crucial role in guiding Salama`s career. He also advocated his candidacy at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University.
Throughout his career, the Palestinian painter played an important role in the establishment of the PLO's Department of Fine Arts and Unified Media.
In 1972, he moved to Beirut where he joined the PLO's Information Service department. He participated in collective exhibitions in Beirut, as well as several international exhibitions in Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and France in which he represented Palestine.
In 1975, he moved to Paris to pursue his Post Graduate Studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts in front of the Louvre Museum.
In France, he opposed the “Israeli address” written on his residence card as the French government linked his address in Safad to an Israeli city. Accordingly, he fought many years until he succeeded in changing it on his card and passport.
Later, he worked at UNESCO in the Arabic publication section.He returned to Palestine at the beginning of 1996 and received a presidential decree in Ramallah to be appointed as advisor to the Ministry of Culture.
He was awarded the Medal of Culture, Arts and Sciences (level of brilliance) by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in recognition of his successful artistic career.
Back to his home city, Safad, for the first time in 1966, he tried to find his house but it was fully destroyed during an Israeli attack on the city.
In 2005, he arranged an exhibition in Palestine for the first time after dozens of exhibitions held abroad. In France, He collaborated with Ezzeddine Al-Qalk, the Palestinian ambassador to France, and produced a unique collection of political posters advocating “The Palestinians Right for Return”.
Salama recalled his cooperation with Ambassador Ezzeddine, to organize an international exhibition for Palestine in Beirut under the supervision of the popular artist Mona Al-Saudi, and then moved to Tokyo in Japan. His paintings were destroyed by the bombing of the Israeli Air Force during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.