Iraqi youth paint murals ahead of Arabian Gulf Cup

STORY: Iraqi volunteers are adorning the streets of Basra with murals

as it prepares to host the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup for the first time in decades

Location: Basra, Iraq

(Dalia Al-Hamdani, Volunteer)

"This is a voluntary initiative by nearly 25 people from different jobs who want to contribute to the success of the Arabian Gulf Cup, Khaleeji 25, by painting on the wall of al-Minaa stadium. The murals are diverse, some represent Basra's Shanasheel heritage homes, others Basra's nature, and some represent personalities known in heritage and literature. We aim to make Basra look more beautiful during Khaleeji 25."

The competition is being held in Iraq for the first time since 1979

In 2018, FIFA partially lifted a ban largely in place since 1990

on Iraq hosting competitive matches over security concerns

(Haider Diaa, Basra resident)

"We are enjoying this atmosphere of Khaleeji 25 championship in Basra, after more than 40 years of absence. The last championship to be held in Iraq was in 1979 in Baghdad. Now Iraq is back to hosting championships. This is definitely proof of a stable security, economic and political situation in Iraq and shows the readiness of Iraq and Basra in particular to host such a championship."