The walls of the busy streets of Yemen’s capital of Sana’a bear bullet holes and battle wounds from last year’s uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh who finally stepped down from power in February.
Murad Subay, an artist from Sana’a wants to put animosity aside, and erase the graffiti from those walls which have been defaced with confrontational messages from Saleh loyalists or opposition members.
The painter invited residents through the social media platform, Facebook and encouraged them to take to the streets and fill those walls with color.
“This is an idea I launched and I hope everyone will go out to the street in the areas that have been damaged, to the areas that are ‘mute’ and do not express anything – let’s do something and get them to ‘speak’. Our young people should be aware that if they don’t go out to the street and express themselves through paint, they will lose the chance,” he said.
Subay received positive response from his creative initiative as many expressed a desire to bring peace and unity to the country, with one resident saying the walls were a canvas for spreading strong opinions by rivaling parties.
“Murad has chosen to write over this period of bad history. He wanted to fill the walls with color on the street which was filled with words and phrases which gave rise to hatred, and spread hatred. Color is life for a new Yemen,” said resident Nadia al-Kaokbani.
Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi took over from Saleh who stepped down after signing a Gulf brokered deal in November last year.