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Watan initiative brings colour to Amman bridges

By Maria Weldali - Oct 16,2021 - Last updated at Oct 16,2021

A community-based initiative, Watan, is on a mission to cover two bridges in Amman with colourful paint and designs (Photo courtesy of Ahed Al Darawish)

AMMAN — A community-based initiative is on a mission to cover two bridges in Amman with colourful paint and designs.

The Watan initiative, a non-profit that started two-and-a-half years ago, creates large-scale outdoor paintings and public art to cover the Kingdom’s spaces with the expressions of its people, through art.

“Street art provides a burst of colour to Jordan’s streets and plays a significant role in the cultural identity,” Ahed Darawish, founder of the Watan initiative, told The Jordan Times on Saturday.

Darawish, who has been involved in various non-profit initiatives for almost 15 years, added: “After we had several projects in different neighbourhoods, we decided to focus our efforts on painting two bridges in Amman, which would be new and unique for the area”.

The bridges are located in Shmeisani and near Al Jumruk intersection, Darawish said. 

He noted that the initiative’s team will meet with officials from the Ministry of Public Works and Housing this week. 

While pandemic-induced challenges did not stop the Watan initiative from creating colourful and innovative street art, the initiative still struggles with resources, said Darawish. One bridge project takes four to five days, he said. 

Darawish pointed out that Jordanian and Syrian artists and colour experts are all members of the initiative.

“The presence of art in our streets is important. It makes our cities more beautiful,” he said.

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