Dubai-based painter Mohannad Orabi was born in Damascus in 1977 and graduated from the Faculty of Fine Art in Damascus in 2000. He won the first prize in The Syrian National Young Artists Exhibition in 2006 and in 2014, Orabi was listed among Foreign Policy’s ‘100 Leading Global Thinkers. Prior to the Syrian Civil War, Orabi’s paintings explored the evolution of consciousness during childhood. After the onset of the conflict in his homeland, his portraits became more realistic, drawing inspiration from photographs of Syrians under siege or in exile often sourced from martyr posters, Facebook profile pictures, and media images that are circulated online. What unites his works, is his deep engagement with the psychological dimension of the subjects he portrays. Orabi has contributed significantly to developing artistic practices in the region, serving as a mentor for the Noor Bahjat residency in Dubai. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions including at Ayyam Gallery in Dubai, Beirut, Amman, Jeddah, and London; Den Gallery, Kuwait; Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice; Zara Gallery, Amman; and Ishtar Gallery, Damascus.