Up to 150 volunteers are painting landscapes and other pictures on Baghdad's walls. Some say such efforts are useless in violent Iraq but others insist it’s a worthwhile exercise.
A group of fine arts students have come together to try and change the appearance of Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.
“We wanted to draw on the city’s walls and concrete barriers to bring a bit of beauty back to the city,” explains Zainab al-Hala, one of the art students, who painted the musical notes of the Iraqi anthem on the walls of Mustansiriya University, one of the country’s most prestigious educational institutes. The art work that resulted was supposed to foster values like peace and solidarity and to promote political slogans that more accurately reflect the desires of Iraq’s younger generation.
“There are no political parties supporting this project,” al-Hala told NIQASH. “All the materials were bought with money collected by the participants or with their own money. And everyone contributes according to the skills or means they have.”
He had heard about the campaign on social media, said another of the participants, Laith Sabri. It started on the Facebook page created by four young Iraqi men. “The page deals with a variety of things around the idea of doing good,” Sabri explained. “Such as distributing aid to the poor, cleaning the streets or clearing rubbish.”
“So far around 150 people have participated,” he noted. Those numbers are likely to rise over the upcoming summer holidays.