Assyrian Artist Noora Badeen Wins Second Place in Art Competition Honoring MLK

Feb. 06

Hostelling International Chicago's Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Mural Competition invites local students to create murals that are painted onto the second floor windows of the hostel. This year, twenty students were selected to participate by painting individual pieces honoring the life and work of Dr. King. 

The exhibition, entitled "Until Justice Rolls Down Like Waters," is a consideration of the continuing work for justice and racial integration today. The competition is carried out in collaboration with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and gives student artists the opportunity to share perspectives of issues of diversity and civil rights in contemporary society. 

"No, no, we are not satisfied and will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream." 
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (August 28, 1963)

Local Assyrian artist Noora Badeen was awarded second place in this year's competition on January 16, 2018. Native to Baghdad, Iraq, Badeen views art as a way to raise awareness about human suffering and promote social justice for all people of the world. Her work primarily focuses on marginalized women and children in the Middle East, and the challenges they face trying to navigate life in conflict-affected areas. She is currently a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Badeen cites Dr. King as a source of inspiration, "He planted the seed for equality in 1950 when he started a movement for Civil Rights. That was the beginning of the long fight for equality for all human beings in America. His dream to make a better life for the next generation was cut short on April 4, 1968 when he was shot and killed where he was standing on the balcony of the Memphis, Tennessee hotel."

Badeen's prize-winning piece has three parts depicting iconic scenes from the Civil Rights Movement. "In the the bottom panel, my idea was to show the ugliness of discrimination in Alabama towards the black community. Then, in the middle panel, several Americans are standing united in support of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s vision for equality. By interlocking hands, they portray a sense of strength and belief in their mission. The top panel depicts a strong call to action from Martin Luther King, Jr. in his attempt to rouse the people to take a step forward towards justice." 

See more of Noora Badeen's work currently on display in the Studio Gallery at AUAF until February 28. 


The "Until Justice Rolls Down Like Waters" Exhibition is open to the public and is on display through early March. For more information, visit or contact Anna Henschel at