“We paint for the people of Gaza”

02 October 2015
Approximately 50 young artists from Gaza attempted to paint the longest mural in Palestine at the UNRWA Gaza Field Office on 9 September 2015. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam
Artists from Gaza attempt to create the longest mural in Palestine

Approximately 50 young talented artists from Gaza have painted a 100-metre-long mural under the theme of ‘youth civic engagement’ on the northern wall of the UNRWA compound in Gaza City. The mural, which is painted on a canvas hung on the wall, attempts to break a new record as the longest mural in Palestine.

“We paint for the people of Gaza,” commented artist Mohammad Likruns on his motivation to participate in the project. 

“In Gaza, we still have not woken up from the nightmare of the past three conflicts. In Gaza, we need life. With this mural, we are painting for hope and life,” added journalist Nael Khader, who decided to volunteer for the project.

The mural painting project was organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) under the UN Theme Group on Young People, of which UNRWA is also an active member. The mural was implemented in partnership with the General Union for Cultural Centres in Gaza. With the ‘youth civic engagement’ theme, UN institutions seek to promote and raise awareness of greater political, social and economic participation for youth so that they will be empowered, enabling them to fully contribute to society, development and peace.

The mural hung for approximately one week on the UNRWA wall. The painting may be used for future exhibitions in Gaza and the West Bank, and some sections may be donated to UNRWA schools in the occupied Palestinian territory.

We want to show the world that Gaza is not just misery and suffering, but also creativity and talent. The youth is the future, and the Gaza youth send a message of peace to the world with the help of UN institutions, commented journalist and volunteer Nael Khader on the youth civic engagement project. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam
"We want to show the world that Gaza is not just misery and suffering, but also creativity and talent. The youth is the future, and the Gaza youth send a message of peace to the world with the help of UN institutions," commented journalist and volunteer Nael Khader on the 'youth civic engagement' project. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam
Aartist Sheima Musa is drawing a powerful image of a Palestinian child looking down, overlapped by an image of a goldfish imprisoned in a jug on the mural. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam
"This will be the longest mural in Palestine, and we are drawing it to create change for Palestinian youth. Despite the difficult situation – or because of it – Gaza needs hope, and we need to send this message to the world," explained artist Sheima Musa. Here, she is drawing a powerful image of a Palestinian child looking down, overlapped by an image of a goldfish imprisoned in a jug on the mural. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam
Approximately 50 young artists from Gaza participated in the 'youth civic engagement' event organized by UNESCO in partnership with the General Union of Cultural Centres in Gaza. On the morning of 9 September, they drew their messages for the world and the people of Gaza on a mural hung over the wall of the UNRWA Gaza Field Office. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam
Approximately 50 young artists from Gaza participated in the 'youth civic engagement' event organized by UNESCO in partnership with the General Union of Cultural Centres in Gaza. On the morning of 9 September, they drew their messages for the world and the people of Gaza on a mural hung over the wall of the UNRWA Gaza Field Office. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam
Gaza artist Mohammad Likruns explains the difficulty in convincing an impoverished and conflict-ravaged society of the importance and value of art. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam
"With this mural, I try to convey the message that Palestinian youth have the same rights and aspirations as other young people around the world. The youth is the largest part of our society, and they deserve change for the better. We draw to get support for this idea from the outside, but also from the inside. Sometimes people do not understand the importance of culture and what it can bring them. Some believe that aid only means food and that art has no value. But this is not true – we paint for the people in the street," explained Gaza artist Mohammad Likruns, on the difficulty in convincing an impoverished and conflict-ravaged society of the importance and value of art. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam
I participate in this mural because I want to support the Palestinian youth and somehow change their life, commented artist Mariam Salah on her civic engagement on this day. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam
"I participate in this mural because I want to support the Palestinian youth and somehow change their life. Gaza needs more hope and life, and we have the chance to give this to the people ourselves, with this project for example. I hope there will be more similar opportunities in the future," commented artist Mariam Salah on her civic engagement on this day. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam