Graffiti has always been one my favorite forms of art; so, it brings me joy to see the popularity graffiti has been gaining in Lebanon and the emergence of talented Lebanese graffiti artists. It is important to mention that when I say graffiti I do not mean the meaningless scrabbles of couples who felt the need to share their love on the highway with a spray can. And now that we got that out of the way, here are some of our favorite graffiti pieces in Lebanon:


Fairuz Tribute



This gem was produced by Yazan Halwani Yazan Halwani and is located in Gemmayze. In an interview with Iain Akerman, Yazan says the main objective behind his work is to loosen the political grip and portray the true faces of Beirut (such as Fairuz) with whom citizens should identify. He emphasizes that the true figures of our society should be cultural or artistic rather than political.


Sabbouha Tribute



This is another graffiti of a Lebanese icon that’s an absolute head-turner. This beauty was done by the Ashekman brothers in Achrafieh on the way to Sassine.


Portrait of Ali





A few hundred meters from Bliss Street, Yazan painted this mural of Ali Abdallah. Ali was a homeless man who used to “live” on a blanket around Bliss, he was very well known among the locals. Almost a year ago, Ali passed away on the coldest night of Beirut’s winter; his death triggered short-lived actions to help the homeless in Beirut but these efforts only lasted a couple of weeks. Yazan’s portrait of Ali is a constant reminder of the struggles of the homeless, in order for us take action before the loss of another Ali.



“Where’s the Evolution?”



Said Mahmoud painted this meaningful piece on a wall in Verdun during the wave of suicide bombings that struck Lebanon and resulted in the loss of precious lives.



Wadih El Safi Tribute



Another Lebanese legend immortalized by the brilliant Ashekman brothers. Located in Tabaris Asharfieh, you can’t but feel a nostalgic tingling when you lay your eyes on this.


Gebran K. Gebran on the 100,000 L.L Note




Another great piece by Yazan, this one depicts one of our greatest national treasures, Gebran Khalil Gebran, on our largest denomination of Lebanese currency. Yazan mentioned to Revolution Art Now that someone actually suggested this currency design to the head of the Central Lebanese Bank, but it was quickly dismissed because of “potential complications.”


To Be Free or Not to Be



Ashekman and MARCH have teamed up to repaint their mural in Achrafieh after it was accidentally removed by Beirut’s municipality. It was originally a part of a campaign to remove all political slogans from Beirut.


Fairuz



Another gorgeous Fairuz tribute, this time by the Ashekman twins! Located in Karantina, behind Forum de Beirut, this one has the wow-factor and the grace that is typical of this Lebanese idol.


Eternal Sabah





This jaw-dropping masterpiece is another Sabah tribute by the amazing Yazan who painted this mural on the “Heart of Hamra” building. Yazan told BlogBaladi that he wanted to immortalize the woman who was loved by all and was able to challenge the rules of society. He goes on by adding that we need to learn from Sabah’s drive in modern society in order to break taboos when needed, and not be confined by norms. As for the choice of this pre-war building, Yazan explains that after the war, Hamra started recovering slowly but was never able to go back to being the Arab cultural hub it once was, so this mural is an attempt to bring that golden era back.



What are some of your favorite graffiti pieces?


[Images via Blog Baladi, Iain Akerman, and GinosBlog.]

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