"Mako Shaye: A Tribute to the Victims of the Iraq War" is a poignant artwork created in 2005 that speaks to the heartache and confusion experienced by Iraqis during this tumultuous time. Translated as "Nothing is the matter, thank you", this painting gently poses the same frequently asked questions as the first artwork in this series: What is happening? Why are we in this mess? Who is benefiting from these situations? When will it all end?
However, in this piece, the answer given is "nothing is the matter, thank you" - a curt response that suggests a desire to keep outsiders out of Iraq's affairs. But the questions persist, and it remains unclear who can truly answer for the nation. Alongside these thought-provoking questions, the painting includes a heartfelt message wishing all Iraqis a better future.
In addition to these elements, the artwork also features a great story, a beautiful poem, and a tribute to an important Islamic scientist who specialized in herbal medicine.
Like its predecessor, "Mako Shaye" serves as a tribute to the victims of the Iraq War and a call to remember the struggles and hardships faced by Iraqis during this difficult time. It is a poignant and thought-provoking artwork that invites us to reflect on the ongoing struggles and hopes of a nation.
In Ali Omar Ermes' artwork, the concept of Silah, or connection, charity, and goodwill, is explored through the inclusion of poetry from some of the greatest classical Arabic poets, including Zuhair ibn Abi Sulma, Urwah ebnul Warrd, Ali ebn Abi Talib, and Ali ebn Al Rumi. These poets wrote about the necessity of giving charity to the right causes and how this serves as one of Islam's fundamental aims in creating a kinder society.