In commemoration of the recent murder of Yousef Haj Yihya, the principal of Amal Taibe High School, the US Embassy brought American community-based mural artist Max Levi Frieder to design and paint a mural with a group of 10th -12th grade students addressing violence in their community, giving them an opportunity to work through their pain, shock and anger to get to laughter and optimism.
Over a five-hour period, Frieder and students had a hands-on dialogue on the subject of non-violence, students sketched emotive symbols and images capturing their hopes for the future and then painted two exquisite murals on the school's walls. Artolution's Frieder is a known entity among the students who were thrilled that he would literally put them on the map.
Last month, Yihya was speaking to a group of teachers at a meeting in his office when an assailant walked in and shot him several times in the head and chest before fleeing on foot.
Paramedics rushed Yihya in critical condition, to Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, where he was pronounced dead shortly after.
Police said that this was a targeted killing, as the gunman fired directly on Yihya, adding that they are pursuing a number of motives.
Yihya was the brother of former mayor Rafik Haj Yihya, who died in 2000. Yussuf had recently announced his desire to run for mayor of Taibe.