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Ismail Al Rifai was born in Mayadin in 1967 and studied Fine Art at the University of Damascus. He has served as member of the Syrian Fine Arts Syndicate as well as the UAE Fine Arts Society, and currently works as a researcher in the Department of Culture and Information in Sharjah. The multidisciplinary artist, writer and poet’s work has evolved from abstract to figurative in the past few years, capturing humans, animals and human-animal hybrid figures as a means of exploring the hidden beast within every man. He has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally and is the recipient of several literary and artistic awards, including the Dubai Culture Award 2015, the first Prize at the Annual Emirates Fine Arts Society exhibition 2013, Sharjah Prize for Creativity for his published novel Stairway of Mud, 2006, Short Novel Award from the Emirates Writers Union, 2005 and Fine Arts Syndicate Award, Syria, 2002.