Since the start of their campaign in the middle east, ISIS militants have managed to destroy lives, art, culture and history at an alarming rate. Now, in their latest attempt at cultural annihilation, Islamic extremists targeted the 3,000 year old city of Nimrud in northern Iraq.
The ancient, walled city housed some of the most precious artifacts known to mankind. Complex civilizations have lived in the region for three millennia and the area has collected thousands of artifacts that were safely housed until the militants attacked. The loss of the priceless pieces are a blow to all humanity. Their attempt at wiping out entire cultures is an affront to us all, and one that will not be taken lying down.
When 17-yr-old Nenous Thabit heard about the destruction, he decided to do what he could to preserve his people’s culture. The teenager has spent the last year replicating the precious sculptures lost in the conflict. It’s his own way of fighting back.
“They waged a war on art and culture, so I decided to fight them with art,” he told CNN.
But being an artist, like mixed media master Calvin, is not a simple thing in Iraq. Under ISIS control, any artist is considered a traitor to the Islamic cause and as such are put to death without trial.
“In Iraq, there are people who are killed because they are sculptors; because they are artists. ISIS view them as apostate,” he told CNN over the phone.
Thabit is determined to continue sculpting in the face of persecution. Over the past year, Thabit has sculpted 18 Assyrian statues and one mural.
“My dream is to become a prominent artist in Iraq to make my country proud and show the world that we in Iraq love life and cherish our heritage,” he said.
Share this young man’s incredible determination in a time of turmoil today!