Samuel Idmtal & Orlando Kintero // Israël-Palestine: for a better understanding

Israël-Palestine: pour mieux comprendre

Samuel Idmtal & Orlando Kintero // Israël-Palestine: for a better understanding


Rue Claessens 10 Claessensstraat
1020 Brussels

Date of completion


1020 Laken

Web history


This mural was created by the artists Samuel Idmtal and Orlando Kintero for the project “Israel-Palestine: for a better understanding”. This mural is the outcome of a collaboration between the Aldermen of Culture and Public Education, with the Athenaeum Marguerite Yourcenar and the AIM asbl (Actions In the Mediterranean).

AIM is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation active in the fields of human rights, feminism and intercultural conflict resolution. AIM implements initiatives for dialogue, conflict resolution and the strengthening of human rights between Europe and the Mediterranean. The “Israel-Palestine: for a better understanding” project carried out by this association was born out of a finding: many hate speeches and acts of violence among young people in Brussels were based on Islamophobic and antisemitic stereotypes often linked to the influx of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and terrorist attacks in Brussels and elsewhere in the world. AIM wanted to reach out to young people through the school system, in order to establish a dialogue and clarify the position on both sides of this conflict. Now in its fifth year, the project has brought together young people from different social and cultural backgrounds who would not otherwise have been able to meet.

Since 2014, the public education department has been taking part in the “Israel-Palestine: for a better understanding” programme run by the non-profit organisation AIM (Actions in the Mediterranean). This project has a dual objective: firstly, to enable young people to form a more critical opinion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by deconstructing stereotypes and prejudices and develop initiatives in order to promote solidarity. Secondly, it aims to foster cooperation between pupils from different socio-cultural backgrounds in order to allow them to work and think together to promote dialogue, mutual respect and living together, both here and there. Since the project was set up, the pupils have taken part in various workshops, courses, debates and meetings on the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and have also had the opportunity to travel to Jerusalem. After many months of learning and transformative experiences, these young students will return to Belgium as ambassadors to continue the work of deconstructing stereotypes and prejudices among their fellow students.

The Education Department and AIM wanted to create a mural in order to help young people to keep a more concrete record of their experience, so that they could create something that reflected their feelings and symbolised the project and the time they spent together. The collaboration with the Deputy Mayor for Culture soon took shape thanks to PARCOURS Street Art, which curates mural projects throughout the city.

Samuel Idmtal and Orlando Kintero were chosen by the students to immortalise these experiences. Samuel Idmtal trained as a journalist and scriptwriter but has always been an artist at heart, so he turned to painting and teaching. A traveller as well as a photographer, Samuel Idmtal is a jack-of-all-trades who works in the artistic sphere in the broadest sense of the word. He also has a number of short films, reports and exhibitions under his belt. The artist works with stencils, a technique which he used with Alto and on the PARCOURS to embellish the columns of the Palace of Justice. Orlando Kintero, Samuel’s friend and partner, showed an interest in art from an early age, practising his drawing skills. From adolescence onwards, it was urban art that attracted him and provided the basis for his self-expression. After studying technical architecture and following a trip to Australia which proved rich in experiences and encounters, the young artist devoted himself full-time to his original passion – art.

The two artists were given free rein, but each element in the mural has a direct link with this magnificent project. One of the two pictures shows two teenagers who took part in the project and the wall that currently separates Israel from the West Bank. The second wall refers to a quote by Saint-Exupéry: “Men build too many walls and not enough bridges”. Two men are shown on a bridge, symbolising reconciliation. They are Bassam Aramin and Rami Elhanan, two fathers, two inseparable brothers, whom the 47 teenagers had the opportunity to meet during their trip to Israel and Palestine. Bassam and Rami belong to the ‘Parents Circle Families Forum’, which is probably the only association that does not seek to attract new members, as it brings together Israeli and Palestinian families who have each lost a relative in the conflict. These two brothers now visit Palestinian and Israeli schools and speak all over the world, spreading a message of peace, dialogue and reconciliation.