Street art aims to promote peace in Somali capital
2017-05-17 08:46:00

In Somalia, artists are doing their bit for peace in the country.

The Horn of Africa nation has been rocked by decades of instability. But there are several efforts from the government and private sector to rebuild Somalia. And young people want to get involved.

In January 2016, eight gunmen stormed a seafront restaurant in the capital of Mogadishu - killing at least twenty beach revelers - sparking nationwide outrage.

A deadly car explosion outside the famous Liido Beach followed the attack.

The attack hasn't distracted city residents from enjoying the cool sea breeze every evening, but has prompted hotel and restaurant owners to increase security - and these sand filled defensive barriers and concrete blasts are just some of the additional security measures.

A group of young artists in Mogadishu are seeking to change the capital’s image, by fighting fear through art and creativity. “Group Aqil" is working on improving a defensive barrier with images of flowers and messages of peace.

22-year-old Salman Osman is the brains behind this idea. Forced to flee the civil war, Osman spent several years in neighboring Kenya - and now wants to help rebuild his city.

His street art project has won praise among many in the capital. It seeks to create a sense of hope in a city that has constantly come under deadly bombings.

Osman has also helped train dozens of young artists in Mogadishu at his art academy, providing them with free courses, thus creating a dedicated group of youngsters with a positive vision.

Liido Beach, for many in this city, is a symbol of hope and resilience. Art teachers at Osman's academy are seeking to expand his idea into one that will transform Mogadishu. Editor:Hiram