Baghdad billboard showing “Shias of Abu Turab”

February 27, 2021 - 18:16

TEHRAN – A huge copy of Iranian painter Hassan Ruholamin’s “Shias of Abu Turab” has been set up on a billboard in the heart of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

A number of Persian websites announced the news on Saturday, but with no details about the exact location of the billboard and the identity of its installers.

Ruholamin unveiled the artwork depicting Commander Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis among the companions of Imam Ali (AS) on January 3 to commemorate the first anniversary of the martyrdom of the IRGC Quds Force chief and a commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units – Hashd al-Shaabi, who were assassinated in a U.S. attack in Baghdad in 2020.

Abu Turab is a title attributed to Imam Ali (AS). The painting shows the Imam walking as Soleimani, Al-Muhandis and a number of his companions follow him.

Ruholamin, whose works usually illustrate stories from the history of Islam, criticized inept artworks created about Soleimani, and said that artists should raise their knowledge of an issue in order to create an appropriate artwork about it.

He noted that artists should improve the quality of their artworks about Soleimani.

He also criticized Instagram for removing posts about Soleimani and added, “Now, artists are fearful about making a post about Martyr Soleimani, the minimum outcome of which would be the removal of their post by Instagram.”

“Shias of Abu Torab” is not Ruholamin’s sole artwork about Soleimani. 

Just one day after the assassination of Soleimani, Ruholamin unveiled his painting “The Apocalyptic Companion of Aba Abdillah” that depicts Soleimani’s remains embraced by Imam Hussein (AS), the third Imam of the Shias.

An image of the artwork was published for the first time on khamenei.ir, the official website of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

In 2017, he also created a painting of Mohsen Hojaji, an Iranian soldier who was martyred by ISIS terrorists in Syria.

Ruholamin’s paintings usually call to mind the ambience of Renaissance paintings. In his works, he regards stories from the history of Islam and contemporary events.

Tehran’s Niavaran Cultural Center showcased a collection of Ruholamin’s paintings in an exhibition entitled “Family of Ali (AS)” in January.

Photo: A combination photo features a Baghdad billboard showing Iranian painter Hassan Ruholamin’s “Shias of Abu Turab” and the original artwork.

MMS/YAW

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