Born in 1981 in Luxor, Alaa Awad lives and works between Cairo and Luxor. He graduated from Luxor Faculty of Fine Arts in 2004 and currently teaches in its department of mural painting. Awad took a break from teaching and came to Tahrir Square to take part in the January 25, 2011 Revolution. Soon, he started painting murals across the Square – neo-pharaonic, bold, vibrant, defiant murals that aim at shaking the grounds and reminding protesters of their heritage and glorious past. “I have always been impressed with Pharaonic art. All my murals are inspired by ancient Egyptian art, albeit with a modified and more contemporaneous feel.” Awad’s art is not just aimed at refuting the arguments of the extremists who wish to repress all forms of artistic expression. Rather it is a proud attempt to call attention to Egypt’s true identity. He is currently working on a thesis for his PhD on Pharaonic art and tis influence on Austrian painter Gustav Klimt.