Helwa chose the word “Karamah” (=Dignity). She works for the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) which manages the 4 local schools in Balata Camp, and all the other schools in Palestinian refugee camps. After Donald Trump decided to decrease UNRWA funding last January, the organisation is trying to raise funds to allow Palestinian children to get free education. The campaign is called “Dignity is Priceless”, and Helwa wanted to bring people’s attention on the importance of educating the next generation of Palestinians.
“I chose the word “Omy” (=my mother in Arabic). My mother has cancer and I want to show her love. This mural is for her.” – Iyara, 11 years old, in Balata Refugee Camp, Palestine.
Ro’an chose the word Al Huriya (=freedom). She is stuck in a small territory and has to get a permit if she wants to go to Yaffa, the city from which her family originates. She hopes to live in a free Palestine one day.
This mural is the 150th mural I’ve painted since starting “Share The Word Project” alomst 5 years ago! I’ve worked in slums and refugee camps all across the world, staying for one month in each place and living great experiences! Thank you to the 149 people who have given me beautiful words to paint! (And also thank you to the guy in Indonesia who gave me the word “floods”, because you made me laugh!).
Fadi chose the word “Al Quds” (=Jerusalem in arabic). Simply because it’s a beautiful city he is sad to see torn and separated.
Maryam chose the word Al Audahuq (the right to return). She is referring to the UN resolution 194 voted in 1948 after the Arab-Israeli war. The Resolution defined principles for reaching a final settlement and returning Palestine refugees to their homes. 70 years after the resolution was voted, Palestinian refugees are still waiting to return. Here in Balata, most refugees come from Jaffa and other cities of the Mediterranean coast, which are now part of Israel.
I painted a fruity pattern specifically because Jaffa is world-famous for its citrus fruit.
The mural is painted on the Jaffa Cultural Center, which is where I’m staying in Balata Camp! It’s the first time I’ve actually painted on “my own house” during a Share The Word Project. .
Mohamed wanted me to paint the word “Palestine”. Unlike many slums and refugee camps I have worked in, the walls of Balata have a lot of tags and graffiti on them. Many of these tags contain messages claiming freedom for Palestine, usualy written in the national colours. When I walked around Balata on the first day I knew straight away that someone was going to ask me to paint “Palestine”. .
New episode of Share The Word Project in Palestine! Just arrived in Balata, Nablus, where I’ll be painting words that people will give me!