Reflecting their quest for a free Palestine, Gazan children of different age groups drew the world they wanted to live in on the canvas.
Nübüvvet Akbay who is responsible for the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation’s Orphan Care Department said 200 paintings which depict the isolation on Gaza and free Palestine by Gazan children are displayed in the exhibition in Ankara.
Akbay said the painting exhibition began in Ankara as part of the IHH plans to organize activities for the orphans between March 16 and March 31. She said the exhibition will also be taken to other provinces of Turkey.
Akbay noted that around 500 primary school, secondary school and high school students took part in the contest and the paintings worth of display were selected.
She said three winners were elected in every one of the three categories. While the students who ranked the top were presented with lap tops, the students who ranked the second were presented with cine cameras while those who ranked the third were presented with cameras.
“It is possible to see the way children perceive the world and their realities in the paintings they drew,” said Akbay.
Noting that the IHH’s orphan activities will be held annually from now on, Akbay said: “The IHH brought 10 Gazan children who won awards in the contest to Ankara. Apart from the children who won awards in three categories, there is a student who won the special jury award.”
She said while some of the children included details from life in their paintings, others preferred to depict the pains they have been living through. “There is the Gaza isolation and demand for peace in many of the paintings,” she added.
Doves of peace
Lina Mosad Mona, 16, who travelled to Ankara from Gaza as the winner of the high schools’ category said she wanted to dwell on the freedom of Gaza and Palestine in her painting.
Mona said she drew Jerusalem over the body of a dove as dove represents freedom. “I want to see a free Jerusalem,” she said.
Noting that they want removal of the blockade on Gaza, she said: “The occupation devastates the Gazan public. It is difficult to live in Gaza, we want to spread peace.”
Winner of the secondary schools’ category in the contest, Muhammad Salih, 15, said he wanted to give the message of a world peace in his painting.
“I drew a big picture of the world and placed a white dove over it. I want the removal of blockade over Gaza and a free Masjid-i Aqsa. I want peace in every part of the world,” he said.
The exhibition at the Ankara State Art and Sculpture Museum was open to visits until March 24.
The award-winning students
The winners of the contest received their awards at a ceremony held in Bursa on 20 March 2011.
In the primary schools’ category, Duha Alhabbash came first followed by Nour Omaya in second place and Fathiya Dardona in third.
In the secondary schools’ category, Muhammed Salih came first followed by Marah Shurrab in second place and Yousuf Abulaila in third.
In the high schools’ category, Lina Mosad Mona, came first followed by Salwa Mughessib in second place and Doaa Alfarra Huda in third. Belal Shenneiwra won the IHH Special Jury Award.