Feature: Young Palestinian girls find chance in art courses after dropping out of school

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-14 21:57:26|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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A mural titled "The Lady of Spring" made by young Palestinian girls is seen at the Nablus Girls Rehabilitation Center in the West Bank city of Nablus, on March 3, 2019. In the northern West Bank city of Nablus, young Palestinian girls are learning an art technique after being forced to drop out of school at an early age. In the workshop, Suha Tartir and Mais Abu Saa teach them how to make mosaic mural with ceramic tiles. The artwork they are working on is titled "The Lady of Spring" and embodies the hopes of vulnerable teenagers. (Xinhua/Ayman Nobani)

by Fatima Aruri

NABLUS, West Bank, March 14 (Xinhua) -- In the northern West Bank city of Nablus, nearly 20 young Palestinian girls were learning a new art technique after being forced to drop out of school at an early age.

In the workshop, Suha Tartir and Mais Abu Saa taught them mosaic mural techniques by using ceramic tiles. The artwork of the course was a strong feminist mural titled "the lady of spring," representing the hopes of the vulnerable teenagers.

Tartir, who works at the Nablus Girls Rehabilitation Center, a governmental facility that provides vocational training to young girls to replace their academic schooling with other career skills, said that the rehabilitation center provided the course to offer "a new experience to the young girls."

The course on mural included teaching the techniques in raw material collection, art work concept, and ceramic and mural design.

Tartir said that "our students must be able to enter the world of arts and have a new craft in hand."

The girls worked twice a week to produce mural with meticulous details while turning the ceramic tiles to mosaic pieces and placing them carefully in their place on the mural, which showed a lady in a floral dress raising her hands upward as the flowers on her dress leave to become butterflies.

Abu Saa, who designed the mural, overlooked the entire course and implementation of the project.

"The lady's dress is unconventional. It is full of flowers and as she lifts her hands toward the sky. The flowers come up and are turned to butterflies with time. Butterflies symbolize freedom, meaning that you, as a woman, cannot stay still in your place," Abu Saa said.

The mural, nearly three meters high, was finally put up at the entrance of the young girls' rehabilitation center to remind them of their mission on a daily basis.

Many of the young girls came from vulnerable backgrounds that forced them to leave school including social and economic hardship. The center provided an alternative rehabilitation and education program to help the girls embrace life.

Diana Dirar, 16, is one of the participants who joined the course and studied fashion design at the center.

"I didn't expect that the drawing would look like this, and I didn't t sense that it would become so nice. After we put a lot of efforts into it, we see the beautiful result," she said.

Dirar added that a female should work to know what she will do with her life and be able to live it the way she want. "So, the more you learn about handicrafts, the better it will be for your understanding of life."

The Nablus Girls Rehabilitation Center was established over 50 years ago to serve young girls between the age of 12 and 20. It provides educational, social, psychological, cultural and professional help for them to overcome challenges. The center is now run by the Palestinian Authority's Social Affairs Ministry.

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KEY WORDS: Palestinian