Story of a Peacemaker (Story 1)

Story of a Peacemaker (Story 1)

Peace through the eyes of a 10-year old artist

By Mireille Maddah and Mayssa Othman

What makes a work of art great? Is it the object itself? What it represents? Or could it be the story behind it? In this case, it is the person who created this painting: a young girl by the name of Yara Akl.

Like many 10-year-olds, Yara is a typical school girl with a variety of interests, one of which is music. Six years ago, Yara started learning to play the violin. Today, she is already quite advanced and plays it with finesse and style.

Yara’s other artistic passion lives in her drawings and paintings. She hopes to expand her talents in the future as something more than just an after-school hobby. Her appreciation of painting and expressing herself through art can be seen in the featured piece.

Like any other piece of art, Yara’s painting appeals to one’s senses with its striking red peace sign in the center of the canvas of her chef-d’oeuvre. When asked why she chose the color red to represent peace, she took a moment to pet her beloved hamsters before responding that, “all colors are equal and hold an importance to them”. Later, she added “this is how people’s perception of one another should be as well – nothing short of equality.”

Yara’s true talent lies in her ability to harmonize such peaceful statements, so smoothly, through the strokes of her brush transforming the empty canvas, filling it with colors that meet her vivid personality and reflections on the human experience at such a young age. “People should admire one another and learn to value each one’s differences.”

This is demonstrated right from the beginning, where she has chosen to venture through this painting all by her own guidance and techniques (through YouTube tutorials no less) in additional to occasional art classes, to yield an artistic statement by a colorful representation all that is her own. Yara’s individuality and free-will is clearly seen in her demeanor and conversation.

Multitalented and peace-loving Yara Akl after a violin practice session

When asked about what career she would like to pursue in the future, Yara shyly answered that would one day want to be “an interior designer”. This is a somewhat uncommon career choice when compared to the types of answers received from most kids her age who would rather be doctors, astronauts, and lawyers she continues by saying “every year I change what I want to do. Last year I wanted to be a fashion designer and Maybe next year I’ll choose something completely different.”

Who knows what Yara may end up choosing as a career path. What we do know is that her talents will always be on full display for the world to see. That, along with her parents’ immense support to cultivate her skills and push her to become the best that she can be, is why she will someday become phenomenal talent.

It was the world renowned artist Picasso who once said that it took him four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child. Maybe Yara has developed that skill early on and is showing us what makes a child’s imagination so remarkable is their innocence and special way of understanding the world we live in.

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