Transforming Thorney into Art: The Beauty of Palestinian Art on Cacti Canvases

The sabra is a cactus that bears fruit and is highly symbolic in both Israel and Palestine, as it grows wildly throughout the region. It is known for its ability to survive in all weather conditions and its tough exterior, while being soft and sweet on the inside. Many on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict view the sabra as a representation of their people’s resilience and determination.

Ahmed Yasin (ahmedyasin1995) - Profile | Pinterest

Around 12 months back, Ahmad Yaseen, a faculty member of the art department in An Majah University located in Nablus, Palestine, came up with an innovative idea of depicting his political messages on prickly cactus pads. This unique approach is a testament to the limited availability of art materials and education in the region, and showcases the resourcefulness of the locals that Yaseen aims to represent through his artwork.

key and pain

Ahmad Yaseen utilized acrylic paint to produce his artwork called “Patience” (2016) on a cactus. Despite the challenges presented by the living surface of the canvas, Yaseen captured the portraits in impressive detail. One of his creations portrays a nursing pair of newborns with the mother’s bent arm resembling a keyhole and an old woman wearing a keffiyah who appears to be clutching a skeleton key while closing her eyes and wrinkling her forehead. Yaseen explained that the recurring key symbol signifies hope and is often linked with the right of return, a political principle advocating for the opportunity of all Palestinian refugees to reclaim their pre-Nakba homes. In another of his works, he embedded a stone into the cactus pad and painted a hand holding it, which is the most explicit reference to violence among his cactus paintings. He intentionally did not depict knives, the most popular weapon used during the current infitada, or any other weapons.


Ahmad Yaseen is a painter who aims to spread the message of peace through his artworks. Unlike some artists who portray martyrs or scenes from the current conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, Yaseen chooses to draw elements that provide hope instead of despair. He believes that an artist should have a broader perspective and not just focus on the prevailing fear among both the Palestinians and Israelis. Yaseen’s paintings are photographed in a dry, hilly landscape, which provides a wistful backdrop. In one of his photos, the antennas of Elon Morreh, the center of Israel’s settlement enterprise in the Palestinian Territories, are silhouetted against the sky.


Ahmad Yaseen has created a unique and interesting piece of artwork in his painting titled “Life” from 2016. The medium he used was acrylic, and the canvas was a cactus. This choice of material adds an interesting and unexpected element to the art piece.


Observing Ahmad Yaseen in the Workplace

Watching Ahmad Yaseen perform on the job is an eye-opening experience. This individual works with exceptional dedication and passion, making him a valuable asset to any team. It’s impressive how he handles his tasks with such ease, even when faced with challenging situations.

Ahmad’s work ethic is second to none. He is highly motivated and always strives to achieve the best possible outcomes. His positive attitude is infectious, and he is always willing to lend a helping hand to his colleagues. It’s clear that he takes great pride in his work.

One of the standout qualities of Ahmad is his attention to detail. He is meticulous in his approach and ensures that every aspect of his work is completed to the highest standard. His excellent problem-solving skills enable him to find creative solutions to any issue that arises.

In summary, Ahmad Yaseen is an outstanding worker who brings a wealth of knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm to any workplace. He is undoubtedly an exemplary employee who sets a high standard for others to follow.

Cactus is Palestinian painter's canvas - CNN Style

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