Calligraffiti promotes national cohesion in Beirut!

The Lebanese street art scene is familiar with calligraffiti which has taken over many regions, most notably Beirut. White Wall, which is an annual street art festival in Beirut, organized this year an event called “WHITE WALL – MEETING OF ALPHABETS.” Lebanese and foreign street artists met in the capital of Lebanon and created graffiti in three regions of Lebanon which were divided during the civil war. One of the masterpieces that were created is a mural called “Eest Wast.” The painting was done by the Dutch Urban Contemporary artist Niels Shoe Meulman. The location of the artwork has a historical significance since it is located in Verdun, which was formerly in West Beirut. The words “eest” and “wast” are written this way, so nobody knows which is which. After all, this project aimed at unifying Beirut and destroying the political borders that were diving people.

The words EAST and WEST start off differently but end the same; with ST. I mixed up the first two letters to form EEST and WAST, and now nobody knows which is which.

In fact, two other graffiti works were done in the scope of this festival. The Lebanese street artist 

Yazan Halwani created a massive mural on the Noueiri building in Beirut

which is located on the Green Line. It depicts a scene from 

West Beirut

 where May, a Christian girl, and Tarek, a Muslim boy, are sharing cotton candy. Also, the Paris-based street artist el Seed abstractly painted a quote by the Lebanese writer Amin Rihani on an old building wall in Achrafieh. The quote is the following:

My wish is to live without disliking anyone, To love without being jealous of anyone, To rise without being elevated over anyone, and To advance without stepping on anyone or becoming envious of those above me.

Three artists from three different countries met in a city which was previously war-torn and created art that promotes unity. By painting murals in East Beirut, West Beirut, and on the Green Line, these artists have shown the significant role of art in shaping national cohesion.

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