Yemeni artist makes Paris mural about conflict| Video report by “AP”

(22 Nov 2019) LEAD IN: As the war in Yemen continues, a new mural in the center of Paris sends a message about the country’s tragedy. STORY-LINE: Yemeni artist Murad Subay is doing the finishing touches on his artwork. This is not just a mural in the center of Paris, it is a political statement. “This space that you see now is called ‘The last dance of the dead,'” he says. “It’s inspired from real stories of people died in the war. I tried to convey how the war affects the people in a country like Yemen,” he explains. The painting is part of the artist’s ongoing campaign against the war in his home country. “It’s been forgotten for many years and the war destroyed what the people tried to build during the last seven decades,” he continues. Yemen’s bloody war, which has been fought to a stalemate, has led to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Civilians have suffered the most in the conflict, which has killed over 100,000 people, destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure, displaced millions, and pushed the country’s 30 million people to the brink of famine. The piece is also a statement about the role of the French weapons industry. “They can play a better role in Yemen and instead of selling weapons only so for me I believe, yes I know that the relations between states are not based on emotions, only benefits (profits) but I hope, that at least, because there is people who die,” he adds. Murad’s website says that his art work is an artisitc collaboration with the following eight French organizations: Amnesty, Oxfam, SumOfUs, Action Contre La Faim, Care, Act, Medicine du Monde, and Crisis in Action. “We have regular meetings with the Presidency, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for the Armed Forces to keep defending our cause and systematically, the answer that we get is that France has received guarantees from the countries that bought the weapons that these weapons are not being used against Yemeni civilians and that these weapons are not being used for offensive but only defensive operations,” explains Fanny Petitbon, the advocacy manager for Care. “But these arguments don’t hold against the succession of revelations that there is a very high risk of seeing these weapons being used against civilians and that maintenance contracts still exist and are upheld by France’s arms industry. So we’re asking where these guarantees are,” she continues. Near the mural is a poster where passers-by can sign their name in opposition to the sale of French weapons to Yemen. The mural will be shown for at least a full week.

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