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  • Writer's pictureMaya Alsayed

Celebrating the Legacy of Abdullah al-Sayed: Syria’s Renowned Sculptor | 1941-2022

Updated: May 28



Abdullah al-Sayed is a name that resonates with the rich cultural and artistic heritage of Syria. A master sculptor and esteemed professor, his journey from a young boy fascinated by literature and philosophy to an iconic figure in the world of sculpture is truly inspiring.


Early Life and Inspirations


Abdullah al-Sayed's early years were shaped significantly by his brother, the renowned poet Mahmoud al-Sayed. After the passing of their father, Mahmoud became both a friend and a mentor to Abdullah, introducing him to the realms of literature and philosophy. This early exposure sparked a lifelong love for these fields, eventually leading Abdullah to study philosophy.


Transition to Fine Arts


Al-Sayed's foray into journalism further broadened his intellectual horizons and inadvertently steered him towards the world of art. Realizing his passion for creating tangible, aesthetic expressions of his thoughts, he decided to pursue formal education in fine arts, specializing in sculpture. His quest for knowledge and mastery took him to the prestigious Fine Arts School and the Sorbonne in Paris, France, where he delved deep into monumental sculpture and aesthetics.


Salah Aldin Al Ayoubi - Damascus - Syria

Academic and Professional Contributions


From 1980 until 2010, Abdullah al-Sayed served as a professor of sculpture at the Fine Arts College in Damascus and was head of the Sculpture Department for several sessions. His influence extended beyond the classroom as he guided post-graduate studies in experimental aesthetics, aesthetics and criticism, and sculpture. His commitment to nurturing young talent and advancing the field of sculpture is evident in the numerous students he mentored, many of whom have gone on to achieve significant success in their own right.


Al-Sayed's expertise was recognized not only in academic circles but also in the broader art community. He was an active committee member of various biennales and art competitions, bringing his critical eye and deep understanding of aesthetics to these prestigious events. Additionally, he held the position of editor-in-chief for the Plastic Art Magazine, contributing to the discourse on Syrian contemporary art.


The Damasian Noah's Ark 1 - Damascus - Syria

Monumental Works and Achievements


Among al-Sayed's many contributions to public art in Syria, the most iconic is undoubtedly the Salah al-Din Al Ayoubi monument. This sculpture, prominently placed in front of the Damascus Citadel, is a testament to his skill and vision.


Al-Sayed's work extends beyond this famous monument. He created numerous other public sculptures that are celebrated throughout Syria. His participation in local and international sculpture forums showcases his versatility and the universal appeal of his art. His research on aesthetics and sculpture, particularly from Aramaic and Ugaritic influences, underscores his dedication to blending historical context with modern artistic expression.



Throughout his career, Abdullah al-Sayed garnered numerous grand prizes in monument competitions, reflecting the high regard in which his work is held. His contributions have left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of Syria and continue to inspire future generations of artists.


The Damasian Noah's Ark 2 - Texas - USA

Written about him

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Abdullah al-Sayed's life and work stand as a beacon of artistic excellence and intellectual curiosity. His journey from a young philosopher to a celebrated sculptor is a testament to the transformative power of art and education. Through his monumental sculptures and academic contributions, al-Sayed has carved out a lasting legacy that continues to enrich and inspire. He was a true master whose impact on Syrian art and culture will be felt for generations to come.

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