Kais al-Hilali was an artist who lived to fight with his brushes and paints, eschewing Libya’s weapons and bloodshed in favor of the satirical anti-Gaddafi graffiti and caricatures that he daubed across Benghazi’s walls. Here we recount the tragic loss of this brave artist:
Having left his artistic mark at a roundabout on the western side of the city, reputedly a bastion of pro-Gaddafi support, Kais was driven by two friends through the Tabalina suburbs. They stopped at an improvised checkpoint near the Tripoli Bridge, presuming the gunmen manning it were rebels. The driver, Ayman Hadar, recalls. “A burst of gunfire hit us and Kais fell dead in the back seat.” A gunman opened the car door, looked at him and asked, “What’s up with you?” They didn’t shoot again and disappeared. “We sped to the hospital, but it was too late.” Rebel commanders have denied having a checkpoint at that location.
A snap shot of Kais al-Hilali: