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Ali Tlais, a visual artist with autism, was awarded a medal by the Culture Ministry this week. The medal, reserved for highly acclaimed artists and cultural contributors, was presented at a ceremony Monday by Culture Minister Raymond Areiji. Tlais, who has been described as having "a genius stroke of the brush," makes up to $24,000 per exhibition from the sale of his portraits. His work has been showcased in five exhibitions to date, and will feature in an upcoming show at BIEL as part of the Beirut Art Fair. Five years ago at drawing workshop with the LAS, Moukarzel noticed Tlais' talents and began tutoring him.Tlais executed his piece fearlessly and flawlessly, and the culture minister was thoroughly impressed.Surprised by Tlais' wide-ranging talents, Areiji decided then and there to award him the medal of the Culture Ministry.
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