by Mohamed al-Azaki
SANAA, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Dressed in a traditional black abaya and blue veil with her face widely open, 26-year-old Raghad Mubarak is a female artist from Sudan.
She is now drawing graffiti on walls in Yemen's rebel-controlled capital Sanaa, promoting peace efforts to end the country's deadly war.
Carrying her paintbrushes with a wide range of colours, Mubarak, along with her Yemeni artist friends, went to downtown Sanaa this week to daub walls with pro-peace graffiti, calling for an end to the three-and-half-year devastating Yemeni civil war.
Street graffiti arts have become increasingly popular for millions of Yemenis since the civil war erupted in the conservative poor Arab country.
"I was encouraged by my beloved Yemeni fellows and friends who encouraged me to take the challenge and paint for the Yemeni people's peace," Mubarak recalled.
Mubarak came with her parents to Yemen before the start of the civil war. She studied in Sanaa University and kept following her passion for arts through her Yemeni peace activities, during which she has made friends with lots of other artists via social media.
"The color and shape of my face are clearly attracting the Yemeni passers-by when I engage in graffiti campaigns," she said.
"They usually come close to me while drawing graffiti ... and then they react nicely, encourage me and shake hands with me," Mubarak added.
The Sudanese woman has participated with many Yemeni artists in several pro-peace street mural campaigns.
This week, Mubarak joined in a painting campaign on a long wall in front of the headquarters building of the Yemeni Foreign Ministry in Sanaa.
The campaign was under the hashtag "stop_war," depicting the suffering and mental pain of the Yemeni women and children from the ongoing war.
The war has killed more than 10,000 Yemenis, mostly civilians, with about 3 million others displaced across the country.
The impoverished Arab country has been locked in a civil war since the Houthi rebels overran much of Yemen and seized all northern provinces in late 2014, including the capital Sanaa.
Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab military coalition that intervened in the Yemeni war in 2015 to support the government of exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
"Violence against the Yemeni women and children has been increasing in the war," Mubarak told Xinhua. "I'm drawing graffiti today to depict the social, economic and mental pains of women and children at war."
"The military escalation in the port city of Hodeidah has killed hundreds of people and forced hundreds of thousands of families to flee their homes," she lamented.
"The war is very painful ... Please stop war for the sake of your children," the Sudanese young artist woman appealed.