Arts & Artists
Yousef Ghazzawi

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Yousef Ghazzawi is an artist and professor at the Lebanese University, in
Beirut. He spent many years in Paris studying art and later working as an artist there. Much of his work bears the stamp of his international experience.

On three separate occasions, he lost all of his art and work when they were destroyed by Israeli bombings: the first time was in 1977 when his home in the town of Khiyam in southern Lebanon was bombed. The second time was in 1983 during the Israeli occupation of Beirut. The apartment building he was living in collapsed when it was hot by a rocket. Each time his entire studio and its content of artworks were destroyed. The third time was in July 2006, when he lost his entire life’s work. Hundreds of paintings, mosaic panels, work on glass, work on paper, sketchbooks, notebooks, precious mementoes, and a vast library of art books in three languages were obliterated. He had salvaged a few things from the previous two demolitions and was planning a retrospective exhibition of his work from the past 25 years.

Asked if he salvaged anything this time, Ghazzawi said, “only some books, and the paintings which I pulled out are torn to ribbons, I suppose there might be a chance to restore a couple of them.”

In an interview he said; “We are all fed up with war and the attacks of Israel. …We know that at any moment they can hit us. I see this war as one against our art and culture, against our progress and development, a war against humanity. We want to create beauty and they find an excuse to demolish us.”

Ghazzawi is an artist of breadth and vast experience. His wife, Suzanne Chakaroun who is also a teacher of art, shared his studio and also lost all of her work.