Slideshow: Freedom Hospital by Hamid Sulaiman
In 2011, Syrian artist Hamid Sulaiman was forced to flee his country after being jailed for his participation in the Arab Spring protests. Forced to choose between swearing allegiance to the Assad regime, being put on trial, or leaving Syria, he chose to go into exile — first in Egypt, then Germany, and finally settling in Paris. Since leaving Damascus he has been working on his first graphic novel, Freedom Hospital, released in 2016.
Freedom Hospital chronicles the first years of the Syrian Revolution through the story of Yasmin, a peace activist and pharmacology student who opens an illegal hospital. Members of the opposition cannot be treated at public hospitals for fear of being discovered by the Assad regime. Amid the chaos and violence of the Syrian Civil War, the hospital offers sanctuary to a diverse swathe of Syrian society: Kurds and Alawites, a Franco-Syrian journalist, fighters in the Free Syrian Army, members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Each character must come to terms with the reality of a civil war that leads to incessant violence, the rise of the Islamic State, the interference of foreign powers, and divisions within the revolutionary movement.
Excerpts from Freedom Hospital are republished with permission from Éditions çà et là. Rights reserved.