Insiders Look: Professor Zeynep Altinay, Media Professor at Iona College

We sat down with Iona College Media professor Zeynep Altinay, with an exclusive look into her curriculum and how the constant change in technology affects the classroom.

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War Art

By Matt Lisella

Mustafa Al-Taee is his name. Al-Taee is a painter, but not your average painter of portraits. He has first-hand accounts of the evil actions of ISIS.

His paintings are graphic, but tell a story in the only way he knew how. Al-Taee lived in Hammam Alil, Iraq, before ISIS came and seized his city three years ago. Al-Taee is unique because not only is he expressing himself, but he feels he is doing work that’s right by the people. He explains that in his hometown there is no media. There’s no journalists there and the only way for these horrofic stories to get outis by his “war art”.

A neighbor has recently reported Al-Taee to ISIS that he was painting these pictures and they came and brought him to the “moral police” where he received 30 lashes for his actions. This has not stopped Mustafa however as he continues to still make hundreds of paintings.

Al-Taee’s situation is interesting because his paintings are vivid and tell a more important story. Every person in his art is a person he either knows or has seen before. He shows men being hanged and beheaded, and impoverished children crying.

Mustafa Al-Taee deserves recognition because of his reasoning for his paintings.

“I started out of love for the media and the people,” he said. “And as an artist I started to document these crimes.”

He’s telling the stories the media won’t cover, and conveying the emotions of those that can no longer express them on their own. Here’s his story.