Aboud Salman has exhibited his art in 15 countries across Europe and the Middle East. He had a successful studio in his hometown Al Mayadin, Syria where he lived with his wife Souad and four sons and taught art to high school students. 

Soon after the Syrian war started, ISIS took control of his town. Aboud’s studio was bombed and much of his art destroyed. He also received death threats. In 2012 he was forced to leave his family, his town, his country and his art behind. His mother hid some of his original art in an animal shed, but she died in 2017 before they could be recovered. He dreams of one day returning to search for, and maybe find, the art he left behind. 

On November 23, 2017 Aboud and his family arrived as refugees in Edmonton. They were sponsored by his wife’s sister Amena Shehab, a generous donation from a friend and fundraising by members of Refuge Response Collective. After a six-year separation, the sisters and their families were joyfully reunited and also welcomed by their new Canadian family of friends and sponsors.