After Turkey's military operation in Syria over the weekend to rescue the remains of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, and the tomb's guards, Syrian officials called the incursion an act of "flagrant aggression."
Turkey's Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, said the country needed to protect its armed forces and objects of spiritual value. Many ancient works of religious art have already been destroyed in Syria's civil war.
It was that loss in the context of terrible violence that inspired Syrian artist Essa Neima's exhibit at the Church of the Pilgrims in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
"In general, I would like to talk through my art about respecting others, by respecting them as person and respecting their belongings, regardless what religion they belong to," " he told Here & Now's Robin Young.
The exhibit is called "Touch Me Not" and runs from Feb. 18 to April 5. Gallery hours are Sundays, 12 to 2 p.m. and the first Friday of the Month, 6 to 8 p.m. (Other times by request.)
- Essa Neima, Syrian artist and instructor at the University of the District of Columbia.
This segment aired on February 24, 2015.