Gaza's calligraffiti of hope

Sadly, the Gaza Strip is no stranger to violence and destruction, with repeated Israeli assaults on the besieged enclave exacerbated by the Israeli siege that prevents the entry of building material to mend what was shattered.

So the people of Gaza are no strangers to the rubble that punctuates their everyday lives, manoeuvring around the piles of broken walls with their steel rebar reaching up into the sky.

Palestinian artist Ayman al-Hosari, 35, has always been affected by the ugliness of the piles of rubble and the suffering that they represent.

So, one day, he decided to take matters into his own hands, gathering up brushes, rags and his inspiration and heading for the nearest pile of rubble.

Springing from one point to another, he found the vantage point he needed and began to paint. Large, sweeping, swirling letters poured out under his brush, chronicling his frustration.

Truth is my weapon



The lines of a poem by Palestinian poet Tamim Barghouti also adorn the ruins, their irony and sadness strangely fitting.

War is an evangelist, bearing tidings for us
The warrior escaped unscathed
While those in their homes were killed
Yes, it is God's will but
Maybe, if everyone had been a fighter, they would have been saved

Al-Hosari says: “Just seeing destruction every day puts people in a deep funk, stressing their mental health. I wanted to change that sight that they see every day, the crushed stones and twisted walls, to make them something else.”

He doesn't only work on top of the piles left behind by collapsed homes - he also works inside houses with walls still standing, leaving bright pink lettering where the dining room was and climbing on to small piles of rubble to add something above a window lintel.

He knows that working inside a building that has been destroyed is not safe, even if the walls are still up, they're always on the verge of collapsing.

But, he says, “I will keep painting hope on top of destruction, to tell the world that Gaza is not going to stay mired in destruction and death, that its people will seek life in the midst of the rubble."

Source: Al Jazeera