Much of the population of North Western Syria, a particularly beautiful region at the foot of the Amanous mountains, including the city of Antioch (Antakya/Iskandaron), moved south into Syria following its annexation by Turkey in 1939, a move supported by the French mandate in Syria.
Among these migrants were Naim Ismail, only seven years old at the time, and the rest of his family, including and his three older brothers, Adham, Sudki, and Aziz. At sixteen, Adham was already an established artist, and Naim was greatly inspired by him. Unlike his brother's work, Naim's major concern was political, and the freedom of his country was for him paramount. This is clearly evident in his paintings. Naim was a prolific painter, who rendered a perspective employing traditional Arab decorative designs fused with surreal, dreamlike elements to achieve a style of modern art that is distinctly his own.