Syrian filmmaker and political activist OMAR AMIRALAY has died. He was 66.
The documentary maker passed away on Saturday (05Feb11) after suffering a heart attack at his home in Damascus.
As one of the most prominent Arab directors, his documentaries often focused on the social and economic life in his homeland and criticised Syria's political elite.
He became an influential figure in the Declaration of the 99, a petition signed by Syrian intellectuals in 2000 calling for the country's state of emergency enforcements to be lifted and for political freedom and independence to be allowed.
Just days before his death, he also signed a declaration supporting the anti-government protests in Egypt to remove president Hosni Mubarak from power.