Weeds and Roses

This drawing is Ali Farzat’s Cartoon of the Day from October 14, 2011. Ali Farzat is a Syrian political cartoonist who published his work for years and has continued throughout the protests in Syria.

The image shows a rose and a thorny tree side by side with a underground view of their roots. The rose is labeled “revolution” and the tree is labeled “order.”

The image is fascinating and inspires countless interpretations. For example, the rose could represent the romantic associations with revolution. The simple beauty on the surface, though, causes one to overlook the nasty part of revolution that lies beneath the surface. The tree could represent the people’s negative view of order and the ease with which it can be uprooted.

On the other hand, this cartoon could imply that order is a weed that must be uprooted whereas revolution possesses and simple beauty and strong unbreakable quality.

Or the cartoon could just be a manifestation of gloom– all beauty is accompanied with hideousness under the surface whereas all ugliness is rooted in harmless simplicity.

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1 Response to Weeds and Roses

  1. Hey Cameron,

    It’s very interesting to see your interpretations.
    I interpreted it a bit differently– to me the deep roots under the flower represented the roots of the revolution, as if its been growing for a long time, and was just waiting for the right time to bloom. In contrast, the tree, which represents the current government, had no roots (it wasn’t founded well), but managed to grow into something powerful and evil. Perhaps its a commentary on how important a foundation is to any cause or body– strong roots produce a beautiful result, whereas no roots results in a corrupt, oppressive regime.
    Part of having no captions is that the interpretation is up to the viewer, but it’d be interesting to find out how Syrians and others in the Middle East interpreted this one!


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