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Winners of the Al Nas Hospital Mural Competition

The Al Nas Hospital launched a contest last year searching for a mural design that exemplifies happiness for the children in their care. Now they've found not just one, but three winners!

Last year, Al Nas Hospital launched a competition to paint in the big blank wall in their children's ward. They called out to artists across Egypt to submit designs that exemplify 'happiness' - to spark joy in children and brighten up a space that would otherwise feel sterile and filled with uncertainty, according to Al Nas Hospital Child Life Specialist Donia Hosny. The original plan was to pick one winning design for painting company Heytan to replicate on a larger scale. But Al Nas Hospital was so overwhelmed by the reception they had no choice but to pick three winners instead!

In no particular order, the winning pieces were designed by Nada Ayman, Naila Marei and Ayda Mansour. Ayman created an image of a big blue world overlaid with magic and adventure, with astronauts riding on the backs of whales while surrounded by rainbows. Ayman hoped to "to help children overcome their fears" and "to build a sense of community."

Marei created a patchwork mural with cute creatures over pleasingly simple patterns. "I chose these specific symbols, objects, animals and colors as a way of meshing together a few simple pleasures of nature," Marei explained. "As much as the approach is abstracted, I aimed to bring in a very animated sense of nature or the “outdoors” into a space that was as simple the opposite."

Last but far from least, Mansour submitted a precious landscape of a garden absolutely full of adorable animals, toys and candies. "I wanted to create a world full of imagination. I thought deeply of all the things that I loved as a child, a world filled with colours and magic," Mansour said. "I hope that this design will inspire children, give them hope, and remind them that dreams are what keep us going."

These inspiring pieces will be implemented by Heytan artists Mena Whba and Felopater Halim.