AUAF Awards Scholarship to Rising Assyrian Artist
Through community grants and scholarships, the AUAF helps Assyrian students across the globe gain the support and education they need to shape our community’s future. We were proud to award a $5,000 scholarship to Nenous Thabet as he pursues artistic studies in Iraq.
Nenous is a young artist living in Bakhdida, a town in Iraq’s Nineveh Plain. In August 2014, his family was forced to flee their hometown as ISIS invaded the region, and spent three years living in Ankawa. Nenous and his father, Thabet Mikhael, are both artists and were deeply impacted by the footage that emerged showing the terrorist group’s destruction of Assyrian heritage sites. While most felt powerless, Nenous decided there was only one thing he could do: Rebuild.
Following the liberation of the Nineveh Plain in early 2016, Nenous’s family returned home to find it in ruins: Homes were burnt from the inside out, buildings reduced to rubble, churches blackened by fire. Worst of all, the town was empty. A vibrant city had become a ghost town.
Nearly a year later, life is slowly returning to the town. Nenous and his father led a campaign to eliminate ISIS graffiti in various towns of the Nineveh Plain, leading a team of artists who together painted colorful murals over hateful words. Families have moved back, shops have reopened, and school is in session—but there’s a long, long way to go.
Nenous remains committed to his goal, and continues to recreate iconic pieces. He’s garnered international attention for his work, even landing a feature on CNN. He says his goal is to rebuild Nineveh. “Everyone is born with a purpose. I think this is mine,” he says.
Check out our full interview with Nenous below.
Through community grants and scholarships, the AUAF supports Assyrian students across the globe gain the support and education they need to help shape our community's future. We were proud to award a $5,000 scholarship to Nenous Thabet as he pursues artistic studies in Iraq. Nenous is a young artist living in Bakhdida, a town in Iraq's Nineveh Plain. His hometown was destroyed by ISIS, but his family has since returned and has vowed to rebuild.
Posted by Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation on Wednesday, December 13, 2017