Artخانة turning Egypt’s walls into masterpieces

Between the dimness and colorless walls of Masr el Qadima, artخانة managed to make out of each wall a masterpiece that captures the eye and soul.

One can do charity in various ways – giving money, food or even blankets. However, the best type of charity is doing something that could last for a life-time.

Last Saturday, ArtKhana NGO held an event called “Palette El Sa3ada”, in which they went to a poor district in Masr el Qadima and changed the gray, black and white area into simple designs filled with cheerful colors.

That district faces one of the main streets in Masr el Qadima; that’s why it was a target for ArtKhana – so that everyone, not only the residents, can enjoy the beautiful scenery each time they take that street.

The wall before and after.
photo credits: Youssef Abdelrahman

Although some people don’t really believe in the power of art in making people’s lives better, ArtKhana’s president, Abdelrahman El Naka, had a different point of view when he was asked about how art can affect people,“Art can affect people in various ways; from making your day better when you see something nice or listen to a good piece of music to the art that governments ban because of how deeply it can make you feel something. Taking a place that’s very gray, black and white and altering it into colors and phrases, or seeing the reactions of the kids and adults can show you how powerful art is.”

Getting deeper into details, ArtKhana targeted eleven houses in their event; each house had its own unique design and colors. They also added some simple, cheerful phrases that people of the area can read and relate to very easily.

photo credits: Seham Hosny

One of the most remarkable murals was that of Palestine. It showed how in the midst of their happiness, ArtKhana didn’t forget the importance of emphasizing such fundamental issue, especially to the kids there.

The mural of Palestine.
photo credits: Ismail Elsaidi

All they needed for the event were brushes, paint and spirit. Orient Paints was there to provide the volunteers with the brushes and paint needed and there was nothing higher than the spirit.

The most heart-warming part was the reactions of the children there and how they were willing to help with painting the walls and organizing the day. They were even given one wall to write their names on and doodle freely.

Children doodling and writing their own names.

Simultaneously, two TV channels were there to cover the event, ON-E and the Egyptian Second Channel.

Finally, ArtKhana is a Non-Governmental Organization founded in 2014. Its aim is to empower art and artists in all possible ways. Its motto is “Proving art can” and in such event, they definitely proved it. They also held a similar event three years ago in Darb Saada, which was just as cheerful and colorful.

ArtKhana was capable of changing people’s lives, not for a day, but for a life-time. I guess now people there can have something beautiful to wake up to, and children will have something worth showing off when they go to school.

You can check out their Facebook page here or follow them on Instagram @artkhana to stay updated with their upcoming events.