While working on the murals, our team also conducted workshops for children. Creativity generates excitement. Happy children bring joy to adults. Images of flags, flowers, victory signs, and geometric patterns began to appear on paper. Why not transfer some of the patterns onto the walls to beautify the public space?
It is taboo to paint on stones, so we found new surfaces; the grey metal doors and the entryways to homes and stores. We cleaned the thick dust and rust off of many of the doors, and started painting.
Art-making draws people like a magnet. Soon, we were surrounded by children who wanted to participate. Painting with bright colors is an act hard to resist. Ayman, a tall and lanky young man of 20, quietly stepped in to help us. He is a professional painter; his quiet confidence calmed the chaotic excitement of the children. For two days, Meesha, 32, who loves motorcycles and keeps a store for them on the square, watched from the side as we painted. On the third day, he could not resist anymore. He took a brush and started painting. Then he could not stop. He painted for seven hours on that day!
In three days, the art making by the joined forces of children, young adults from the community, and our team, transformed the stern stone square into a space of vibrancy and charm. More importantly, people experienced the joy of working together and the power of art in turning darkness into beauty and delight.
For me, it’s not only fun painting, but one put something from the heart and soul into the place and to the community which bring great feelings of giving and belonging. Beside, seeing the beautiful and creative transformation and being part of the process are very inspiring.
– Ayat Omran, volunteer, poet
Learn more on our Nablus, Palestine project page.