This Yemeni artist is turning photos of war into images of peace and love

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Monday 04 January 2016 16:30
Image: Saba Jallas

Yemen's sectarian civil war became a full-scale conflict in March last year, but has largely escaped Western media attention.

Saudi-led air strikes launched at the request of the ousted Yemeni government have targeted schools, hospitals and markets and the civilian cost is already huge: around 6,000 people are thought to have died and 2.5m people have fled their homes because of the conflict.

Yemenis stand at the site of a Saudi air strike against Huthi rebels near Sanaa Airport on March 26, 2015, which killed at least 13 civilians (Picture: Getty)

Amnesty International says that 80 per cent of the 21m strong population are in need of aid.

With her country in crisis, artist Saba Jallas turned to her craft to try and find an outlet for her feelings of shock.

She found inspiration from Palestinian artists who drew over the smoke and explosions from the Gaza war in 2014 with pictures to inspire courage and hope.

Jallas started to create her own images on her smartphone, etching peaceful and compassionate scenes onto photographs of the destruction hitting Yemen

Her pictures are posted onto Facebook, where they are beloved by both Yemenis and people around the world

Many show women and children embracing

And flowers feature heavily as a symbol of growth and beauty

"Frankly I did not expect this reaction as an amateur," Jallas told

People told me the pictures give them hope. The reaction of Yemeni people gave me the push to continue.

Jallas hopes that the violence will come to an end as soon as possible. But in the meantime, she is going to keep drawing:

I hope to see Yemen safe, and that everyone will live with love, tolerance and optimism like brothers and sisters.

I don't know if it means much. But drawing is a way to heal.

All pictures by Saba Jallas unless otherwise stated

HT BBC Trending

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