I met Nour the first day I had landed in Jordan. She is friend of a Palestinian friend of mine that used to come to Jordan from time to time. They met each other in Rainbow Street where Nour used to have her studio/house. She studied survey engineering for 2 years and then she decided to change her major to fine arts. Nowadays she is in her third year of her studies and she has participated in many graffiti projects here in Amman, and lately she was invited to participate in Femme Fierce: Reloaded! (2015 Edition) taking place in London (UK).
Back in September 2014 after spend some days walking through the most touristic places in the city I was invited to attend the WOW Baladk Street Art Festival. It was the first regional street art festival in the Middle East. 25 artists and graffiti painters (half male and half female) gathered in Amman and work together for a week. WOW Baladk was a joint cooperation between WOW – Women on Walls – the Cairo based network of graffiti artists who use graffiti and street art to talk about women, and Al Balad Theatre in Amman. The theme of the WOW Baladk Street Art Festival was “Stories from Fear to Freedom”.
Now that I move to Amman, we met for a quick coffee that ended up in me asking questions to her about the graffiti scene in this chaotic city in the Middle East.
Alba: Why and when did you decided to start painting walls?
Nour: I started scribbling on the wall of our house when I was a kid. Then, I studied engineering for two years and discovered my passion towards drawing was still there. So I changed my major to fine arts. Right now I am a third year student; I now draw graffiti not just on the walls of our house, but on the walls of Amman too.
Alba: Lately I saw a lot of graffiti around Amman and in Jordan in general. How is the graffiti scene in Jordan?
Nour: The graffiti scene in Amman is small but powerful, you can see that all over Amman, we have a lot of talents here in Jordan, but I would love to see more females do graffiti in the streets and express their thoughts.
Alba: Why to do graffiti?
Nour: Graffiti is a direct way for me as an artist to see the reaction of people about my art pieces, it’s a great feeling when I draw something in the street and then just set back and see the people talking smiling or even taking pictures with it.