International Youth Day: With UNESCO’s support, 64 Young Artists came together in Gaza and created the longest Mural in Palestine

Within the framework of UNESCO's Networks of Mediterranean Youth project (NET-MED Youth) and the UN Joint campaign to celebrate the International Youth Day 2015, and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. UNESCO Office in Ramallah organized a mural painting activity in Gaza, in cooperation with UNRWA and in partnership with the General Union of Cultural Centres (GUCC), an NGO member of the NET-MED Youth network.

Gaza, 9 September 2015. 64 young women and men artists colored UNRWA compound's northern wall with various paintings on "Youth Civic Engagement" this year's Global theme for the International Youth Day.The paintings reflected on themes around Gazan youth, their aspirations, their future, their ambitions and their dreams.

The mural painting is a national record on the longest mural in Palestine, with 100 meters length and 1.60 meter width (as the previous national record was for an 80-meter long mural in 2013), With the largest number of participating artists.

“Around the world, and in Palestine – where youth from 15-29 years represent around 30% of the population – young women and men are driving change and claiming respect for their fundamental freedoms and rights, together with opportunities to learn, work and engage as active and innovative citizens” – said Lodovico Folin Calabi, Head of the UNESCO Office in Ramallah.

“Through Net-Med, UNESCO aims at supporting an environment where young Palestinian women and men from Gaza and the West Bank can develop their competences and their creativity and make change for themselves, for their society and for their beautiful country”, Lodovico Folin Calabi added.

The mural painting activity was designed by youth in Gaza, for youth and their community, in order to showcase their potential, energy and commitment to strive for a better life in Gaza and contribute to its future.

"Today, 64 artists broke a national record for the longest mural in Palestine celebrating the International Youth Day in a new artistic method in the street, which gives the youth space to express their issues and aspiration," said Shareef Sarhan, artist and GUCC, Supervisor of the Artists.

Painting the mural lasted for 8 hours, with the presence of citizens, civil society organizations, youth organizations and university and school students and UNRWA.

"I think art is the finest way to express ideas and direct messages. I am drawing in yellow as it is the color of energy and future so I believe that youth is the future. Youth need to be given their right to civic engagement”, said Ms Fidaa’ Hasanat, participating artist.

The mural will stay hanged at the UNRWA’s compound wall for four days.

The Networks of Mediterranean Youth (NET MED Youth) project is implemented by UNESCO and funded by the European Union. It aims at mainstreaming youth issues and priorities across national decision-making and policy implementation in Eastern and Western Mediterranean countries by building the capacities of youth and youth organizations and promoting their active engagement in the development and implementation of national policies and strategies on youth, ensuring that youth issues are adequately covered by national and regional media and by identifying workable models for improving youth access to employment and youth inclusion in different sectors.

 

For more information on NET-MED Youth, visit en.unesco.org/netmedyouth and www.facebook.com/netmedyouth or follow #netmedyouth

For more information on the UN International Youth Day, visit: undesadspd.org/Youth/InternationalYouthDay/2015/Event.aspx

For further information, please contact Majd Beltaji, Public Information Officer of the UNESCO Office in Ramallah at m.beltaji@unesco.org