As a part of the unprecedented efforts of Egypt's youth to spruce up the streets, a group of artists launched an initiative on Facebook called “Maadi in Colors”. It asks for volunteers to participate in painting a huge mural in Manteket al-Arab” in Cairo's New Maadi district.
“Encouraging the poor children to take part in beautifying their neighborhood inculcates a love of their country in their souls and increases their sense of belonging to where they live,” said Noha Hesham, one of the initiative's founders, explaining its aims.
Hesham and her friends are young artists who used to paint graffiti on Maadi streets. After the 25 January uprising, however, they decided to use their talents to elevate Egyptians’ artistic taste.
“This is the time for change and every one should utilize this opportunity to make a difference for the country in his own way,” said Moshira Kamel, a drawing teacher who also helped found Maadi in Colors.
Last Friday, more than 20 volunteers participated in drawing simple geometric designs with scotch tape to help children stay inside the lines with ease. “Almost half of the mural was painted and we are expecting to finish the remainder by tomorrow, as more volunteers have joined us this weekend,” said Maha Strougo, another founder.
According to Kamel, the residents were very excited to help. “They cleaned the small garden in front of the wall, which was packed with garbage. We have also been allowed to store our painting equipment inside a nearby mosque,” she said. “Mothers came along with their kids to paint and some provided us with tea and fruits.”
The idea has gained a lot of attention, and SCIB Paints has donated paint and all the other necessary equipment.
Tomorrow the participants will write famous revolutionary slogans all over the mural, including “We can build our country with our own hands.” They aim to revive a sense of patriotism in citizens. Also, a board will be placed at the entrance of the garden with the kids’ names and photos as a reward for their efforts.
After the success of their first project, the organizers are planning to take their initiative nationwide.
“We are thinking of moving to other places after tomorrow to draw smiles on more children’s faces. Volunteers are most welcome to take part and share constructive ideas on our Facebook group so we can re-name our initiative "Egypt in colors",” said Nesma Herky.