Press Releases

CAIR-SV Celebrates Completion of Afghan Artist’s Mural in Sacramento

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 8/22/2018) – On Wednesday, Aug. 22, Wide Open Walls, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Sacramento Valley chapter (CAIR-SV), and the Sacramento News & Review will celebrate the completion of another successful festival with the unveiling of Afghan artist Shamsia Hassani‘s mural. 

“With another year in the books, we have done our best to create an outdoor art gallery for our community,” said David Sobon, founder and producer of Wide Open Walls. “By adding more than 30 majestic murals from local, regional and international artists, we attracted the attention of the world as a destination for contemporary street art.”

If You Go

What: Celebration of Completion of Shamsia Hassani’s mural and end of Wide Open Walls
When: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22
Where: Sacramento News & Review, 1124 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento
More: There will be food and the event will feature speakers from the community

“It is incredible to have artwork depicting a powerful Afghan woman in Sacramento,” said Basim Elkarra, CAIR-SV’s executive director. “Shamsia’s piece will help inspire and spread multicultural awareness in our city.”

“We’re very proud to host the first female Afghan graffiti artist and are so impressed with her courage and artistic ability,” said Jeff vonKaenel, president of the News & Review.

As the first female graffiti artist in Afghanistan, Hassani has been featured in numerous publications, including the L.A. Times, The Guardian, The Huffington Post and Vice. In addition, she is a fine arts lecturer and associate professor of sculpture at Kabul University.

Through her artwork, Hassani portrays Afghan women. Her art gives Afghan women a face with power and ambition. The woman character used in her artwork portrays a human being who is proud, loud and can bring positive change to people’s lives.

During the last decade in Afghanistan, Hassani’s paintings have brought hope, color, and appreciation to women and the country. Her graphical works have inspired thousands of women around the world.

She has now brought her vibrant art to a wall of the Sacramento News & Review building, which is shared by CAIR-SV. 

“I’m here to show a brighter side of Afghanistan and change people’s minds about women in Afghanistan – that they are strong and they are powerful,” said Hassani. “No one knows about art in Afghanistan. There is something positive going on.”

Wide Open Walls is a 501(3)(c) whose mission is to promote and celebrate public art, and it holds an annual mural festival in Sacramento. The festival helps promote greater cultural understanding and appreciation among diverse groups.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: Kalin Kipling CAIR-SV/Central California Community Relations Coordinator, 916-441-6269,

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