Active during a time of immense upheaval in the Arab world, Kayyali was one of its most prominent socio-political artists, his paintings externalising the pressing humanitarian and political issues that surrounded him. His powerful depictions of ordinary people are characterized by strong fluid lines that define the figures and the absence of extraneous detail. Although reminiscent of Russian social realist painting, through his humane treatment of his subjects he conferred them with more individuality and pathos.
His most important exhibition in Syria was entitled For the Cause, and held in April 1967. It toured the major cities of the country, but when The Six-Day War with Israel broke out in June, soon ending with the occupation of Arab territories, he fell into deep depression, and destroyed the thirty works in the exhibition and stopped painting for several years. Kayyali went to live in Aleppo in seclusion and eventually resumed working.
The present painting is unique, in that it is the only one with such strong subject matter to have been executed after Kayyali destroyed all his political paintings following the 1967 war. It deals directly with the suffering caused by the the 1973 conflict.