Kafranbel’s got talent: the young Syrian activists show their sense of humor

Published March 10th, 2013 - 13:00 GMT

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For a small town in the North of Syria, Kafranbel has made a big name for itself internationally. While the nearby city of Idlib has seen some of the worst bombings of the Syrian conflict, the young men of this town have maintained their sense of humor.

Always sarcastic and sometimes dark, their messages to the outside world show their astute understanding of the powers at play in the Syrian war. Kafranbel activists not only react to the war within but also to the news stories around them.

When John Kerry was appointed new secretary of state in the U.S., they were already out on the streets with their message to him. And when Arabs across the region reacted with fury to the anti-Islam b-list movie, the Syrian satirists were quick to point out the obvious: “Why all the fuss about a film when thousands were being killed in their country?”

But of course their main target is Syria and the world’s lack of response to their suffering. The guys from Kafranbel are hoping that a witty take on their war will spur on the international community more than a thousand images of bloodshed ever could.

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Always the first to tap in to current affairs, the Kafranbel guys reacted to the news that John Kerry had been appointed U.S. foreign secretary of state with a provocative message - act now or never for Syria.
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Image 1 of 8:  1 / 8Always the first to tap in to current affairs, the Kafranbel guys reacted to the news that John Kerry had been appointed U.S. foreign secretary of state with a provocative message - act now or never for Syria.

Enlarge
While Syrian opposition fighters are accused of stirring sectarianism, these Syrians have been busy trying to prove that not everyone feels the same. As the sign says, Christian or Muslim blood is still blood.
Reduce

Image 2 of 8:  2 / 8While Syrian opposition fighters are accused of stirring sectarianism, these Syrians have been busy trying to prove that not everyone feels the same. As the sign says, Christian or Muslim blood is still blood.

Enlarge
With news that the Americans were only willing to supply “non-lethal” aid to the rebels, the Kafranbel guys got their pens out once again. This time it was to show the U.S. just what “non-lethal” meant in real terms.
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Image 3 of 8:  3 / 8With news that the Americans were only willing to supply “non-lethal” aid to the rebels, the Kafranbel guys got their pens out once again. This time it was to show the U.S. just what “non-lethal” meant in real terms.

Enlarge
Russia has been one of the last international countries to stay friends with the Syrian regime. With their influx of weapons to the regime’s army, these young activists know that President Putin holds the key to the war’s end.
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Image 4 of 8:  4 / 8Russia has been one of the last international countries to stay friends with the Syrian regime. With their influx of weapons to the regime’s army, these young activists know that President Putin holds the key to the war’s end.

Enlarge
With the U.S. refusing to provide arms for the Syrian opposition but endorsing their political coalition, the boys of Kafranbel have got a little confused. Mixed signals they may be but they’re also playing with Syrians’ lives.
Reduce

Image 5 of 8:  5 / 8With the U.S. refusing to provide arms for the Syrian opposition but endorsing their political coalition, the boys of Kafranbel have got a little confused. Mixed signals they may be but they’re also playing with Syrians’ lives.

Enlarge
While successive UN statesman have made grand statements on the state of Syria, these activists know that words and weapons are not one and the same. They might look pretty but UN flowers won’t hold back tanks.
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Image 6 of 8:  6 / 8While successive UN statesman have made grand statements on the state of Syria, these activists know that words and weapons are not one and the same. They might look pretty but UN flowers won’t hold back tanks.

Enlarge
Nothing says ‘revolution’ like a Pink Floyd cover poster and a multi-colored, multi-faceted message from the heart of Syria said it all. A rainbow prism beaming light on the troubled country came from abroad, not inside, the nation.
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Image 7 of 8:  7 / 8Nothing says ‘revolution’ like a Pink Floyd cover poster and a multi-colored, multi-faceted message from the heart of Syria said it all. A rainbow prism beaming light on the troubled country came from abroad, not inside, the nation.

Enlarge
With the success of TV talent shows across the region, the Kafranbel guys thought they’d get in on the action with a more serious message - terrror’s got talent too. Their image of Assad wielding a dead child said more than Ragheb Alama or Ahlam ever could.
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Image 8 of 8:  8 / 8With the success of TV talent shows across the region, the Kafranbel guys thought they’d get in on the action with a more serious message - terrror’s got talent too. Their image of Assad wielding a dead child said more than Ragheb Alama or Ahlam ever could.

Enlarge

1

Always the first to tap in to current affairs, the Kafranbel guys reacted to the news that John Kerry had been appointed U.S. foreign secretary of state with a provocative message - act now or never for Syria.

Image 1 of 8Always the first to tap in to current affairs, the Kafranbel guys reacted to the news that John Kerry had been appointed U.S. foreign secretary of state with a provocative message - act now or never for Syria.

2

While Syrian opposition fighters are accused of stirring sectarianism, these Syrians have been busy trying to prove that not everyone feels the same. As the sign says, Christian or Muslim blood is still blood.

Image 2 of 8While Syrian opposition fighters are accused of stirring sectarianism, these Syrians have been busy trying to prove that not everyone feels the same. As the sign says, Christian or Muslim blood is still blood.

3

With news that the Americans were only willing to supply “non-lethal” aid to the rebels, the Kafranbel guys got their pens out once again. This time it was to show the U.S. just what “non-lethal” meant in real terms.

Image 3 of 8With news that the Americans were only willing to supply “non-lethal” aid to the rebels, the Kafranbel guys got their pens out once again. This time it was to show the U.S. just what “non-lethal” meant in real terms.

4

Russia has been one of the last international countries to stay friends with the Syrian regime. With their influx of weapons to the regime’s army, these young activists know that President Putin holds the key to the war’s end.

Image 4 of 8Russia has been one of the last international countries to stay friends with the Syrian regime. With their influx of weapons to the regime’s army, these young activists know that President Putin holds the key to the war’s end.

5

With the U.S. refusing to provide arms for the Syrian opposition but endorsing their political coalition, the boys of Kafranbel have got a little confused. Mixed signals they may be but they’re also playing with Syrians’ lives.

Image 5 of 8With the U.S. refusing to provide arms for the Syrian opposition but endorsing their political coalition, the boys of Kafranbel have got a little confused. Mixed signals they may be but they’re also playing with Syrians’ lives.

6

While successive UN statesman have made grand statements on the state of Syria, these activists know that words and weapons are not one and the same. They might look pretty but UN flowers won’t hold back tanks.

Image 6 of 8While successive UN statesman have made grand statements on the state of Syria, these activists know that words and weapons are not one and the same. They might look pretty but UN flowers won’t hold back tanks.

7

Nothing says ‘revolution’ like a Pink Floyd cover poster and a multi-colored, multi-faceted message from the heart of Syria said it all. A rainbow prism beaming light on the troubled country came from abroad, not inside, the nation.

Image 7 of 8Nothing says ‘revolution’ like a Pink Floyd cover poster and a multi-colored, multi-faceted message from the heart of Syria said it all. A rainbow prism beaming light on the troubled country came from abroad, not inside, the nation.

8

With the success of TV talent shows across the region, the Kafranbel guys thought they’d get in on the action with a more serious message - terrror’s got talent too. Their image of Assad wielding a dead child said more than Ragheb Alama or Ahlam ever could.

Image 8 of 8With the success of TV talent shows across the region, the Kafranbel guys thought they’d get in on the action with a more serious message - terrror’s got talent too. Their image of Assad wielding a dead child said more than Ragheb Alama or Ahlam ever could.

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What do you make of the satirical signs? Is the message getting hidden in all that humor or is the effect more powerful with tongue in cheek? Tell us what you think below.

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