Essam Issa was a student in high school, a creative artist, and a graffiti artist. He was known as “the Artist of the Revolution.” He was in Tahrir Square since the beginning of the January Revolution, when one of his hands was broken and in a cast he would use his other hand to draw. He participated in all of the initiatives of the revolution. He died at the Massacre of the Podium. His friend, Mahmoud, recalls his murder saying: “The first phone call between him and I was at 2 in the morning. He told me, ‘I’m going to see my father as he is not picking up his phone.’ I told him not to go as the violence was at its fiercest and said that maybe the reason his father isn’t picking up is because he can’t hear the phone amidst all the gunshots. Essam Issa said, ‘Don’t worry. What can I do? Dad’s generation is often exhausting us since we keep having to run after them
His friend told him to be careful and said he would keep in touch by phone. Later, Essam called his friend and told him he hasn’t found his father and that he will head home. He never made it—he received a fatal shot in the back.
The Egyptian Front of Creativity, which is an urban gatherings of young artists, mourned him and put out a statement that read: “The death of every human kills us once and the death of an artist who is shaping the pulses of our hearts kills us multiple times. His works forever remain a witness of the death of humanity itself on the day an innocent person dies.”
According to the Egyptian Front of Creativity, Essam Issa had never stopped his revolutionist activity since the start of the revolution, in the beginning against Mubarak and then against the council of Tantawy and Annan, and then against the Muslim Brotherhood and the regime of Morsi.