Palestinian artist Bilal Khaled is not only famous in Gaza for his outstanding Arabic calligraphy skills but worldwide as well. News of his accomplishments has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Reuters, Agency France Presse, among many other media.
But despite his fame, Khaled, 28, remains committed to his roots. He sees himself first and foremost as a Palestinian artist from Gaza as he insists on living his mark on the walls of the Gaza Strip.
Khaled has combined two different styles, that of Arabic calligraphy and street graffiti into one. He even founded a Gaza graffiti society of like-minded artists in Gaza and throughout Palestine.
Expectedly, Khaled sees himself as a man on a mission. His keenness to promote the Arabic language and culture, along with the unique Palestinian identity, is palpable in all of his work. In fact, the young Gazan has taken his art well beyond Palestine to Kenya, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Somalia, Turkey, Belgium, Malaysia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
Khaled told The Palestine Chronicle that whenever he intends to take on a project, he studies the area carefully with the hope of developing a specific understanding of the history of the street and the neighborhood, so that his art may continue to respect the legacy of the area.
I joined Bilal Khaled as he worked on his latest street art in Gaza City. The Arabic calligraphy in the center of his latest painting reads “The Truth is My Weapon and I Shall Resist.”
(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)