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Yazan’s Graffiti and the Homeless of Beirut

Socially responsible street art is asking those with a roof above their heads in Beirut to acknowledge and help those who don’t.

Ghadan Yawmone Afdal (tomorrow is a better day) reads a stunning mural in Beirut’s Hamra area, the latest by graffiti artist Yazan Halwani whose bold brush strokes have transformed many a neighborhood in this city. Unveiled in August, his latest piece features a replica of a photograph of a homeless man’s haunting face—that of “the legend of Bliss Street,” as the artist puts it. To passersby and AUB students, the legend was known as Ali. On account of his popular appeal, his tragic death on one of the coldest nights on record last winter exposed the fate of the homeless.

More than a tribute that immortalizes Ali, Yazan’s work serves as a call for action. By giving a face to the faceless–the homeless kids, migrant workers, refugees, and elderly–and the denizens of Beirut’s chaotic streets, this mural stands as a reminder that among us are people without a shelter and with an immense need for a helping hand.

To extend one to paint a mural or donate a blanket is an act of hope that’s very much aligned with Yazan’s vision of a tomorrow that’s not just another day but a better one for all.

For more info – Yazan Halwani

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