Hesham was one of the young artists who participated in the January Revolution since its first day. His mother said that Hesham, “learned how to draw before he learned how to write, and he dreamed of joining the Faculty of Fine Arts. I used to feel that he was my son, my brother and my beloved—we used to do a lot of common activities together.”
Hesham was a member of the 6th of April Movement, the Youth for Freedom, the Justice movement, as well as the Association of the Artists of the Revolution. He was one of the graffiti artists renowned for the drawings on Mohamed Mahmoud street. He wrote one day: “I belong to the Egyptian working class, I’m not ashamed of living in a poor area or being financially poor, as I am morally the richest of the rich. I have in my possession the love for my homeland, my physical exterior does not concern me as I raise myself up to human perfection… ‘might I be that awaited man.’”
Hesham disappeared under mysterious circumstances during the last week of April 2014. His body was later found at Zeinhom Morgue. The forensics report declared drowning in the Nile to be the cause of Hesham’s death. A few of those close to Hesham, as well as some people on social media, cast doubt on the accuracy of the forensics report. Some confirmed that he was killed intentionally due to his political stance and started the hashtag #Hesham_Rizk as well as created a page for him on Facebook. The day after Hesham’s body was found, his body was taken by all of his family and friends from Zeinhom Morgue to his grave in Kafr Abou El-Hassan at Qewaisna Center in the Menofia Governorate.
Mamdoh Gamal, Hesham’s friend, had said: “He had left an impact on the lives of everyone who met him. He used to spread simplicity and art through his graffiti, through caricature along with the theatre shows, and pantomime he participated in.
On the 15th of July 2016, Dar Merit Publishing House organized an exhibition in honor Hesham’s memory.
The exhibition included artworks by the late young artist, a short film about his life in addition to graffiti works his friends created, as well as a musical show and a pantomime.