Ali Ferzat is one of the most influential and best-known Arab political cartoonists. Born in Hama, Syria, he published his first professional drawings in the al-Ayyam newspaper shortly before it was banned by the Baath Party. He subsequently drew for government-ruled papers like al-Thawra and Tishreen in the late 1960's and 1970's, while also studying at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University between 1970 and 1973.
He got international recognition in the early 1980s, when he won a prize at the Intergraphic International Festical in Berlin, and his work was published in the French daily Le Monde. Between 2000 and 2003 he published his own satirical paper al-Domari, the first independent paper since the Baath government.
Ferzat's work caused him a death threat from Saddam Hussein and a ban from Iraq, Jordan and Libya. This didn't stop him from continuing to make political drawings, including ones about Syrian president Bashar al-Assad during the Syrian uprising. In August 2011, Ferzat was assaulted in Damascus by masked, presumably pro-regime, gunmen. Farzat was heavily wounded, especially his hands, and his story made the news headlines around the globe. He was brought to Kuwait by sheikh Ali al-Khalifa al-Sabah to recover and by June 2012 he has picked up his drawing pen again to resume his collaboration with the sheikh's paper al-Watan. Ferzat is traveling the world to tell his story and to bring the Syrian situation to the attention.