The Jerusalemite architect Aseel Abu Rumaila found the incorporation of famous cartoon characters with pictures of Jerusalem’s roads and landmarks a way to draw attention to the suffering of Jerusalemites in their city
With the spread of her own designs on Jerusalem, followers of the Jerusalemite architect Aseel Abu Rumaila on social platforms imagine a city full of international cartoon characters, as this young woman feeds her pages with exceptional pictures and designs in an idea that she launched in 2019, and has become the focus of attention of many followers.
“Adnan and Lina, Cinderella, The Lion King, Pokemon, Aladdin, Sally, Spider-Man” and many other cartoon characters who were born in the eighties and nineties of the last century and employed by the young engineer in the pictures, to convey the details of daily life in Jerusalem on the social and political levels.
The young woman, Aseel Abu Rumaila, was born in 1993 in the Holy City and raised there, and enrolled at the Palestinian University of Birzeit to study architecture, and after her graduation in 2016, she felt attracted to the world of photography and started practicing it as an amateur in 2017 after acquiring a high-quality camera.
With passion, she spoke to Al-Jazeera Net about this world, saying, “I started photographing architecture first, then moved to photograph the street and the life that follows on it, and later decided to join a graphic design course and delved into its own programs, and started with the idea of installing cartoon characters on various pictures.”
Defining the issue in a pleasant manner
Aseel was impressed with this idea that some people have implemented in other countries, but it is the first to start in this field from Palestine, and I felt its importance because “we have an issue that can be communicated through these personalities and can be successfully harnessed and exploited. Many see pictures of life in Palestine under occupation,” But no one is affected by it anymore, and it is possible by introducing cartoon and international characters to the pictures that they interact with them and imagine this or that situation. “
Regarding his first design, Abu Rumaila explained that he carried the “Batman” character while he was inside a public car bearing the West Bank plate, near Qalandia camp and the separation wall towards Jerusalem, in reference to the right to freedom of movement and movement, which are the most important rights that Palestinians are denied.
The special designs that were unique to this young woman met with the approval of the youth group, who became familiar with the cartoon characters in her childhood and interacted with her stories and became attached to them, and Aseel was able to employ the appropriate character in the event and the appropriate image.
This idea, which requires a constant wandering to take pictures in Jerusalem, prompted the young engineer to get attached to the city more, and to seek to explore the depths of its alleys, lanes and landmarks, and she focuses on her tours on what the followers are requesting through her pages.
And about the views that Aseel prefers to take pictures of, she said, “I love the roof of the khan in the Old City, and the view of the Mount of Olives outside it. I designed a picture on this view, with which I introduced the character of the Lion King and his son Simba as they contemplated Jerusalem.”
In addition to installing cartoon characters on her own pictures, Aseel is interested in inserting her designs on images that do not belong to her, such as pictures of confrontations in the West Bank, to which my character Adnan was introduced while carrying Lina and fleeing the shooting, and other characters were also introduced to the images of destruction in Gaza after the war.
Military checkpoints are always present
One of the expressive pictures, for example, the design of the cartoon character “Cinderella” stands devoid of all the magic that she enjoyed to visit the prince’s palace after what time ran out for her, and about this design, Aseel said, “The idea is that Cinderella had a specific hour to reach somewhere, and if she did not arrive she would lose all I placed this determination in front of the Qalandia military checkpoint, because we are like this in Jerusalem, barriers disrupt our lives and prevent us from accomplishing anything on time.
This young woman received requests for specific designs from Palestinians living inside and outside the country, and one of them is a refugee from Acre who lives in Lebanon who requested a special design for the wall of Acre.
In 2020, the Jerusalemite engineer launched 70 special designs, and recently entered the field of digital drawing, and once mastering it, she hopes to move from the idea of sticking ready-made cartoon characters to designing Palestinian cartoon characters, and through her she will talk about Jerusalem and Palestine.
It also aspires to launch a comics series of graphic stories to animate the Palestinian characters that will invent and design them, with the aim of conveying the details of life in Palestine in a smooth manner that may positively affect those who do not live in this country and do not know the details of their case.