Yemeni artist Saba Jallas transforms scenes where most people see only suffering, in the horrors of the war that is tearing her country apart, into works of hope-inspiring art – using nothing but her smartphone.
In Saba’s depictions, women, children, birds, and flowers replace the smoke of devastating explosions and bombed out buildings are reimagined as being built anew – all in an attempt to give hope to the people of Yemen.
She draws her inspiration from Palestinian artists who similarly reimagined the blasts of the 2014 Gaza war in 2014 as symbols of courage.
Hope out of despair
“For me living without hope is impossible. I’m just looking for anything that can keep the hope inside as alive. I believe that drawing smiles is better than living with tears and sadness all the time,” Jallas told RT in an interview.
The artist posts her drawings on her Facebook page along with poetry, in which she mostly calls for an end to the wars raging in Arab countries. Her page has garnered over 5,000 likes.
“Frankly I didn’t expect that reaction, but it’s making me more optimistic that my messages may reach everyone,” the artist told RT.
“One day the war will end and we will rebuild our country,” Jallas believes.
The Saudi-led coalition began its bombing campaign in Yemen in March 2014 to back the Sunni Muslim government that had been toppled by Shia Houthi rebels, whom Riyadh accuses of links with its regional rival, Iran.
Around 6,000 people have been killed since the airstrikes were launched, most of them civilians. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospitals have been hit at least twice since the war began.