White for Peace: Mariabad gets a makeover in Quetta

People don’t know the talent and creativity that is hidden in the Hazara people.

A group of social activists from the Hazara community in Quetta have started an initiative to paint the Mariabad area of Quetta white, to show that it is a peaceful and hopeful place. The project called “Paint it Peace,” aims at painting all homes and walls in the area white.

The project is being run by Sumaiya Changezi a teacher, Asif Ali, Ali Raza, Batoor all from the community, who have taken the idea from villages in Morocco and Greece which are painted in multi colours which gives them an identity of their own.

Sumaiya Changezi speaking to The Nation said, “We thought that our Mariabad village does not have an identity and we have been through so much strife and hardships, so let us paint it white, let’s beautify it. White depicts peace, calm and serenity.”

“I started painting the village with my own money taken out of my salary and then some of my friends also donated to make the project a success. Soon people started joining us and in a short time we have covered one full street,” she said.

Sumaiya added that, “Despite of going through so much, the Hazara people want to get out of depression, to forget their pains and that is why they supported our idea as a cause and helped us. Outsiders know where we live, know our pains but people don’t know the talent and creativity that is hidden in the Hazara people. We are a peaceful people and that is what we want to show through our project.”

She added that everyone in the area was taking part in the activity and even the ladies were eager to join.

A video about the activity has been posted on various Hazara social media pages to show this project and asks for assistance in completion of the project.

It is worth mentioning that the Hazara community of Quetta has been one of the worst hit communities by sectarian violence in the province for the past many years with loss of lives and forcing many of the members to migrate to other cities in search of livelihood and security.

Umaima Ahmed is a member  of staff

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