Islamic State militants invaded much of Iraq’s north and west in 2014, occupying the country’s second largest city, Mosul. Not only did they propagate a harsh and violent version of Islamic law through airwaves and print, but also marred the streets with Daesh’s hate-preaching graffiti. As cities are liberated from the occupation of ISIS, Alhurra-Iraq aired a video story about an Iraqi artist who took back the streets and walls of his city, Mosul, painting over the messages of intolerance and violence left behind by the militant group that sought to supplant the peaceful culture of the city.
The report highlights Abdul Rahman Al Dulaimi’s creative employment of his talents in response to the death of his brother at the barbaric hands of ISIS. He started painting over hateful Islamic State graffiti in the public view with messages of peace and beautiful thought-provoking art that reflects the richness of Iraq’s culture. He painted over language which urges violence against those who don’t agree with ISIS ideology of death and destruction and countered ISIS rhetoric with messages of love, bringing hope and beauty to a once ransacked town.
Abdul Rahman’s story attracted the attention of Iraqi local news outlets. More than 20 Iraqi publications picked up the story, which provides a testimony to the strong desire to build a future of hope in Iraq that will cast away violence and extremism. Alhurra-Iraq consistently strives to share stories, untold elsewhere, highlighting the challenges and aspirations of Iraqis to build a more stable and secure country.
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