Faris Al-Saffar has been drawing for most of his life. However, the Baghdad native wound up a civil engineer in Iraq for the military—a kind of slavery under Saddam. Sworn to secrecy, Faris was obliged to work on a long-range missile project. Then came the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam’s forces. Faris went AWOL, hiding from the Iraqi army in Baghdad. In 1991, during the rebel uprising against Saddam, he managed to get through the Republican Guards lines during, crossing rebel lines to reach American forces. Faris soon found himself in a U.S. POW camp in Saudi Arabia, along with over 100,000 other Iraqis. This desert fortress would be Faris’ home for the next year and a half.
Artwork by Faris al-Saffar