Skip links

    Encouraging peace through creativity

    Day 82

    A Day for Artists

    There’s an abundance of talent to be found at the Youth Center in Kismayo. And there are some whose talent shows up on the canvas, in the most colorful of ways.

    Meet Salmaan, Abdinasir, and Shamso.
    They’re the founding members of Aqil Art Group, a collective of young artists in Kismayo. Their passion? Using art to encourage peace, heal wounds, and express their hope for Somalia’s future.

    They believe that anyone can use art to express themselves – including those who have no experience with a paint brush and a canvas. We couldn’t agree more. So we’re dedicating Day 82 to helping these talented artists share their passion with other young people, and with the world.

    “I love art because it’s something to be proud of,” said Salmaan. “Art is the connection between the mind, the heart, and the hand.”

    They taught the gathered students the basics of painting, and encouraged them to express their thoughts and feelings about being back in Somalia with colors, symbols, shapes, and words.

    “See this one with the soccer ball and sunset?” said Salmaan. “This represents the environment and sports. The artists is saying, once you have a healthy body you have a healthy outlook on the environment.”

    “This other one,” said Abdinasir, “is all about bravery in education, and education for women and girls. The bird is painted blue for Somalia – it’s a dove for peace and tranquility.”

    Many of these young people are returned refugees, transitioning into a life in Somalia. They have a lot of conflicted feelings about that – they’re trying to find their place in this new world. Painting can help them express themselves, and connect with others who might be feeling the same way.

    “Art has the power to build,” says Salmaan. “You can build a society and country through art. You can change someone’s mind through art. Send messages through art. For someone who speaks Chinese, I can make him understand what I mean. It’s a universal language. We are so hopeful for how the future can be, if we all use art for good.”

    [easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=1 counter_pos="hidden" total_counter_pos="leftbig" style="button" point_type="simple" url="" text="A Day for Artists"]

    Changemakers 365

    by Alight


    The world’s tough problems can seem insurmountable. So at Alight, while we tackle those big problems we also do what’s doable. Right then. And that’s what Changemakers 365 is all about. Learn more!


    Changemakers 365 members give either $30 per month or a one-time gift of $365 (it’s free for anyone who has ever lived in a refugee camp). Join us!

    Let's Connect!