"Shako-Mako: 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 "What is the matter, folks?", this painting gently poses the most frequently asked questions by Iraqis: What is happening? Why are we in this mess? Who is benefiting from these situations? When will it all end?
In addition to these abstractly depicted questions, the painting also includes a poem by Abu Hatim, as well as a heartfelt message wishing all Iraqis a better future. Alongside this, the artwork features a great story, a wise saying, and a tribute to the Islamic scientists who invented the camera.
This powerful painting 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.