Racist graffiti scrawled over a street sign in Dundee intended to recognise the city’s links with the Palestinian city has been condemned.
Vandals daubed the word “terrorists” on the street sign, an act one person said was a “targeted racist attack” against Palestinians.
Scottish Palestinian Actress Amira Al Shanti called on locals to stand against the “unacceptable act” — which she believes was linked to a film she recently starred in.
The graffiti has now been removed, but pictures show a marker pen was used to scrawl over “Nablus”.
Actress condemns racist graffiti on Dundee street sign
Nablus Avenue lies between Tom McDonald Avenue and Mariner Drive in the Technology Park.
Councillors approved the name on in 2013 and it was unveiled two years later.
Amira Al Shanti said she thought it was a targeted hate crime against Palestinians and those living in Nablus.
“We created Nablus Avenue around seven years ago, and to date, have never had an incident like this before.
“Nablus Avenue is outside of the city centre, in an industrial estate, and unmarked on Google Maps so it takes a bit of searching and researching to find it.
“That, coupled with a Sharpie pen, suggests that this incident was planned – and was done so only a week after we wrapped filming, and the morning after our post about Nablus Avenue featuring in our film,” the actress told The Courier.
That, coupled with a Sharpie pen, suggests that this incident was planned
Ryan Dewar, who directed the film which includes scenes on Nablus Avenue, said he felt a huge weight of anger after discovering the graffiti.
He said: “Instead of a proud pillar of support, a gesture to Palestine and her people, I was met with a vandalised sign and the word “terrorists” in place of Nablus reading “Terrorists Avenue”.
“It certainly didn’t take me long to get back to the car and grab a cloth and spray to wipe off the permanent marker.
I felt a huge weight of anger at seeing such a positive symbol defaced
“Upon seeing the writing, I felt a huge weight of anger at seeing such a positive symbol defaced.
“I felt disgusted that someone thought to graffiti this supportive gesture to the Palestinian people of Dundee and worry for the reasons why.
“It instantly drove home the impact and necessity of our short film and further discussions surrounding it.”
Amira Al Shanti said she hoped her film would help locals and Scots learn more about Palestine and people from there.
Locals urged to show support online
“We do not want the reaction of this abhorrent vandalism to be just about our film, Said the Dove to the Olive Tree. We want those who are just as angry, hurt and upset to show solidarity with Nablus and all Palestinians both here in Scotland.”
She asked people to share a cartoon on social media in reaction to the graffiti to show support and stand against racism.
“The erasure of Palestinian identity and conflation of Palestinians with terrorism must be challenged if we ever want true equality.
“We are therefore inviting you to print out Handala from our website and photograph him in your local community,” she said.
Locals can post the cartoon on the hashtag #HandalaExists as a “sign of solidarity with those affected by the targeted racist graffiti on Nablus Avenue”.