Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Abou el Rish, new video art by Tarek Chemaly

Abou El Rish (father of feathers) is a character that showed up out of nowhere in west Beirut during the war (specifically around 1981) and built himself a cardboard shack net to the American University of Beirut. He would wear strange medallions and a hat with feathers on it (hence the nickname) and would try to play traffic police with a duster. People would give him leftover food, and have pity on him and help him. When the Israeli invasion (the second one) came in 1982 it was revealed that he was an intelligence officer to the Israeli army whose work was to collect information. A mass hysteria happened afterwards with people reporting his sightings on barricades on in patrols. Private information gathered by myself revealed him name (which I cannot tell) and that he was a Iranian jew who eventually went to Israel and got recruited in the army.
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