A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Death of an Artist

My heart ached when I read this morning that leading Palestinian artist Ismael Shammout had passed away on July 4th. Shammout committed his life’s work to Palestine, it’s culture, it’s people, and to the art of liberation.

self portrait of the artist

Shammout was seventeen when on July 13, 1948, he was evicted from his home along with the majority of the population of Al Lydd, after which he ended up in the refugee camp of Khan Younis where he painted the suffering of women and children. Shammout organized his first exhibit in 1950 in this very refugee camp.

Ironically, Shammout’s career as an artist and popular hero of Palestine began with his 1953 exhibition of oil paintings in Gaza of the catastrophic march through wilderness, on his death, the world was suffering news of the latest attacks on Shammout’s Gaza.

What a loss to the art world, what a loss to Palestine.

My sincere condolences to his wife, Palestinian artist Tamam Il-Akhal.

+ Shammout
+ Kabob Fest
+ Electronic Intifada













  1. To be honest I wanted to write about him but I thought you or Ohoud would know more than me ,thanks for doing that.

  2. M e 3 m a r

    Sharing sorrow about the lost of the artest Ismael shammout, sending you a special “THANK U” for Infos you wrote about him , and for some of his best pieces.thanks

  3. His work on the Palestinian “Nakbeh” captures the plight of the people.

    Allah Yerhamo

  4. Ahmed

    I just loved the pieces!… Specially the third one, it reminds me of how much the Palestinian women live in fear and worry about their kids everyday!. Thanks AndFarAway.

  5. My god, :(
    I am so sad to hear this, Ammo Isma3eel is one of my father’s best friends :'( They used to hang out together, have fun together. And lived pretty muchthe same kind of life. The both became artists in two different directions but lived almost the same life. From Jaffa,to lidd, to Kuwait, back to Amman. His brother (Amin) is my father’s best friend.
    Please correct the name of his wife, “Tamam El AK7al, or Ak-Hal الاكحل” (there is no “T”)
    I’m going to call my father now, and offer my condolences. He must be very sad about all of this.
    Ola wrote a number of articles about his life and work, you can find it here:
    +Ola’s Cinnamon Zone

    رحمة الله عليك يا فنان اسماعيل. انّا لله و إنا اليه راجعون. الجسد فانِ ولكن الاعمال خالدة

  6. Thank you Roba for telling us about this. If it weren’t for you I doubt I would’ve known about it.

    The first art exhibition I ever went to was for the late Mr. Shammout’s works and by chance he was there, he talked to us (the art class) and he was so generous as to give each one of us a tip here or there; he even wrote me a couple of lines and signed them on a notebook of mine. His works were brilliant and so vivid.

    I will treasure that piece of paper like nothing else. May his soul rest in peace.

  7. Tragedies make the best artists

  8. Alla yer7amo..
    The paintings are amazing.

  9. Curt from Houston

    His work is amazingly powerful. Agree with the Palestinian cause or not. Any one would have to agree that this man was a master and we are all deminished by his passing.

  10. Nice art work. Yes, it is powerful.

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