South Lebanon/PNN/ Courtney Bonneau
Hezbollah on Sunday held their first-ever official opening ceremony for a mural at the southern separation wall- turned-art gallery with occupied Palestine.
The mural is located in the village of Kfarkela and was designed and painted by Ahmad Abdallah, Youssef Sakr, Ali Sakr, Ayman Jaber, Hassan Shehadi, Mohammad Attieh, and Hassan Hamouchi. The piece, titled “سنبقى” (‘sanabqa’ we will remain), depicts iconic moments in the history of the resistance movement against the Israeli occupation.
Historically, art has been a crucial instrument in resistance movements; exuding power through beauty and style. Painting the border wall directly under the watchful eye of Israel is a strong act of defiance.
every scene in this panorama means something to someone who lived through the occupation and liberation.” – Hassan Shehadi
Artist Hassan Hamouchi on the meaning of the piece, the team’s history, and his hopes for the future of the team’s resistance art:
“The piece sums up the main highlights of the resistance history from the beginning in 1982 until the present day. We began with the Sujud operation, which was the first-ever filmed (videotaped) operation since the usage of the camera was not yet a main tool in the resistance. Then we have the Katyusha equation that was set in the 1996 war; next, the liberation of the land in the year 2000, showing the main characters like Rani Bazzi, who was imprisoned in the Khiam redemption center.
The 2006 war was also a big highlight throughout the years of the resistance. Also depicted is the Merkava massacre in South Lebanon right up until the more recent days of the war with ISIS in Syria, finally arriving at the Karish era, which we are in now.
The team started painting on the wall in May 2021, when the Palestinian resistance was taking place during Sayf Al Quds; it was in celebration with the Palestinian resistance.
We hope that art keeps coming to our cities and villages; not only on the wall of shame that our enemies have installed, that later on became our art gallery.”
I asked artist Hassan Shehadi which piece was most meaningful to him.
“For me, actually, the soldier who is planting the flag in Dabsheh, an occupied army point at that time in the ’90s, I think 1993, that moment was great because it was one of the biggest military operations carried out by the resistance. Also, the liberation day in May 2000 and the scenes from the war of 2006. Actually, everything from May 2000 until now all means something to me and every scene in this panorama means something to someone who lived through the occupation and liberation.”
Shehadi on the duration of the project, team history, and new projects in the works:
“The duration of the project was about twenty days. We had a meeting on July 1st and we discussed ideas some designs were made just one day before painting, and we finished about two weeks later. Two days for each mural. Two days for martyrs and two days for typography and one night before every painting, we had to sketch the painting on the wall using a projector.
The team started painting last year with Sayf Al Quds. At that time, there was a raid in Gaza and Al Quds, so we started painting on the wall at that time and we are still doing it at this time. Upcoming projects may not just be on the wall, but maybe in Beirut or other cities. There are different projects in mind and hopefully, we will continue with this and a lot of events.”
While an Israeli drone buzzed over our heads, Sayed Hashem Safeieddine gave an impassioned speech.
In a symbolic gesture, Safeieddine himself spray-painted a stencil onto the wall.
Sheikh Mohammad Sbaity was also in attendance with his family; his son spray-painted a stencil on the wall.