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5 Mindblowing Graffiti Artists In The Middle East

With irreverent strokes and surreal imaginations, these five graffiti artists invent ballads and anthems for untold worlds–each with a visual language all their own.

1. Keizer (Egypt): A signature presence within Egyptian public spaces, Keizer is widely recognized for the imprints his ants leave on Cairo’s walls, as a symbol and a reminder of those who nobody sees. “Ants are the forgotten ones, the silenced, the faceless, those marginalized, degraded, and victimized by capitalism, the unacknowledged and nameless that have died over the centuries in wars, genocides and ethnic cleansing”, he explains.

2. A1one (Iran): A pioneer street artist in Tehran, A1one started as a stencil artist in 2003 when nobody in his country knew what graffiti was. “For me these were just words; I was feeling a big, young power in my soul pushing me on”, he says. His artwork and concerns lead him to settle down in Germany, taking his unique Persian artwork worldwide through the US, France, Canada and Australia.

3. Alaa Awad (Egypt): Drawing on pharaonic iconography, Alaa Awad came from Luxor to transform Cairo’s post-revolutionary roadblocks. His creatures, hybrids of ancient icons and contemporary motifs, enliven the city’s walls with astonishing portrayals of the national state of mind. 

4. El seed (Tunisia): Born into a Tunisian family in France, el Seed crafts intricate compositions that play with Arabic calligraphy not only in terms of its meaning, but also in terms of its movement, calling his artwork “Calligraffiti”. His masterful compositions seduced the luxury French fashion house Louis Vuitton, which incorporated his designs in its Foulardes d’Artistes collection.

5. Dihzahyners (Lebanon): Recognized worldwide for having brought Beirut’s dim staircases to life in a wholly original way, this group of young artists set out to radically change Lebanon’s urban landscape. Their recent event ‘Waiting for the Train’ creatively explores the aspirations of a person engaged in such a wait.

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Valentina Primo

Journalist, globetrotter, and determined idealist. Since Valentina left her home country of Argentina, she has searched for ways to build bridges between cultures and foster dialogue. Her previous work in international organizations in Italy and Germany fed her passion for the world of development, while her 8-year journalistic experience in Argentina and Egypt increased her curiosity for everything that challenges the stereotype. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Peace Studies with a specialization in Human Rights.

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