|Ali checks the plans|
Mohammed Ali's graffiti art is usually on canvas and exhibited in galleries around the globe, but Mohammed has taken his work back to the streets to produce a very special spiritual mural.
Ali has spray painted the words 'remembrance' and 'dhikr' (also meaning remembrance in Arabic script), on the outside wall of Hamd House Nursery in Small Heath.
|Ali and Tony with the finished mural|
"It's Ramadhan and it's really busy here as everyone is preparing for Eid. Everyone is feeling good and people are looking curiously - it's maybe the first Arabic, Islamic, Christian, spiritual graffiti that people have seen.
"We live in a diverse society with people of all faiths. Islam and Christianity tell us to 'love thy neighbour and we should explore common principles in each others religions."
Remembrance of God
|Remember me, and I will remember you|
The mural is supported by the Reverend Dr. John Breadon, Chaplain at St George's Post 16 Centre - part of City College. Reverend Breadon's students also had a unique opportunity to help Mohammed with the graffiti art that shows a universal and spiritual message - remembrance of God.
Reverend Breadon said: "The days of playing ludo and chess with teenagers is over. I saw Mohammed's work and saw how interesting it was and how much it would engage the students.
|Reverend John Breadon|
"I thought the mix of his Islamic faith and his graffiti-inspired art was a great way of engaging our students who are mostly Muslim.
"I think it’s a nice thing to do", said student Osman Abucar. "I had to fill in the Arabic parts and I really enjoyed it. I've never done it before. I think it's beautiful and people that don't understand Arabic can still understand what it means."
Partnership between faiths
|Students Osman and Ilham|
Reverend Breadon continues: "In the midst of all the negative publicity about integration, it has a very clear sign of a Christian/ Muslim partnership."
The final image aims to connect people of different faiths, and has symbols and landmarks of Birmingham that include St Martin's Church, Birmingham Central Mosque, the Rotunda and Selfridges.
|Tools of the trade|
"I love it", says Reverend Breadon "It’s a great fusion of styles - graffiti with traditional Islamic calligraphy and other traditional Islamic patterns - also making it very specific to Birmingham with the recognisable skyline."
Fusion of style
Mohammed’s unique style transforms graffiti, using the beauty of Islamic script as his inspiration. He fuses two very different artistic forms by drawing on his faith and the energy of the streets to create a style that is both urban western and Islamic.
Drawing on his teenage street graffiti experience, Ali looked to old friend and fellow graffiti artist 'Tony Graffiti' for artistic help.
"It’s a long time since I've done this on the street", said Ali "and it's good to have a mate from the past Tony here helping me. It's going back to the old ways, it's really exciting.
Tony said: "Ali used to not be as religious when we were younger and we used to do graffiti. Now we are two different sides of the tracks having a go together. Graffiti helps communicate with the kids - they see the graffiti and they're interested."
|Ahmed, Hany, Soheil and Khan|
Ali wants his work to have an impact and throughout the day many people stopped to comment on the huge graffiti mural: "A young lad came with a huge crucifix and said 'yeah, respect', 'it's really cool, I like it'. It made my day." said Ali.
"It's wicked. Heavy, heavy", said friends Ahmed, Hany, Soheil and Khan on seeing Ali's work "It says dhikr. I'm really happy that Islam is shown in a good way. It makes me feel proud that we get together as one community."
You can see Mohammed Ali's mural at Hamd House Nursery on Coventry Road in Small Heath at the junction with Langley Road.