'We won't leave': regional artists respond to events in Sheikh Jarrah with new works

The pieces have been shared by thousands on social media, including A-list celebrities such as Dua Lipa and The Weeknd

A poster against Israeli eviction orders is seen hanging on the gate of a Palestinian house in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied east Jerusalem on May 5, 2021. - Israeli Jews backed by courts have taken over houses in Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem on the grounds that Jewish families lived there before fleeing in Israel's 1948 war for independence. The claimants seek to evict a total of 58 more Palestinians, according to the watchdog group Peace Now, and  Israel's Supreme Court is set to announce a decision for four of those families on May 6, 2021. (Photo by Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP)
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A number of regional artists and illustrators have taken to social media to show their solidarity with Palestinian families facing eviction in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem.

As violence escalates in the Old City, several artists have created new pieces in response to the unfolding situation.

We take a look at some of the unique artworks that have been created as a result.

Haneen Nazzal 

Haneen Nazzal's illustration, one of the first to be released in response to the ongoing unrest, is inspired by the real-life image of Nabil El Kurd, a resident of Sheikh Jarrah whose story has sparked media attention.

El Kurd sprayed the words "We won't leave" on the wall of his house as a firm statement that he and his family refuse to vacate their home. His image and words have since gone viral.


This colourful illustration of East Jerusalem, emblazoned with the hashtag #SaveSheikhJarrah, is by designer duo Mothanna Hussein and Hadi Alaeddin, who work together under the banner of Jordanian design studio Warsheh. The illustration has been widely shared, including by celebrities such as Dua Lipa and Anwar Hadid.

Shirien Creates 

The Palestinian-American illustrator garnered attention with her illustration last year after the death of George Floyd. Shirien's style is distinct, with her work mostly focused on social justice issues. In her latest illustration, she also uses the words Save Sheikh Jarrah, which has been used as a hashtag on social media. Her work struck a chord with pop star The Weeknd, who shared it on his Instagram Stories.

Nourie Flayhan 

One of the most promising illustrators in the region, Flayhan received great attention for her work during the Lebanese revolution in 2019, as she depicted the faces of the people who took to the streets. In her latest artwork, she pays tribute to the Palestinian people, again referring to El Kurd's words: "We won't leave."

Rama Duwaji

The illustrator and animator from Damascus, who lives in New York, is known for creating black-and-white drawings of women. In this particular work, three people stand together, joining elbows firmly. The words "we won't leave" are written across the piece in Arabic.

Azra Aydogan

The German designer has created an illustration that is inspired by Palestinian artist Sliman Mansour's Jerusalem, an oil painting from 1979. It shows a Palestinian woman sitting on the floor holding the Old City in her hands.


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