Was walking home from one of my famous walks along the Corniche a week or so ago, when something in the corner of my eye caught my attention..
Located on Jean D’ Arc Street across from Books & Pens, the wall invites people to write what they think should be done to make Lebanon better. The duo behind the project, Karim Badra and Sherif Maktabi, wanted to start a public conversation by creating a huge suggestion box (or in this case, wall) for Lebanon. [source]
I took pictures of some of the “suggestions”..
My friend, moved by what was taking place, decided to contribute her own thoughts..
The lady who sells chiclets next to the wall was not at all amused by what was happening.. She was quoted by The Daily Star as saying, ““I want to live, I don’t want [people writing] to disturb me and my livelihood.”
I went back yesterday during the day to see if I could get a better shot of the wall..but to my disappointment the wall had been defaced.
I remember seeing a project like this before. And sure enough, with a little bit of research.. I found it. The “Before I Die” project by Candy Chang in New Orleans, has been running since February 2011! And has yet to be defaced like this one in Beirut.
According to her website,”It’s easy to get caught in the day-to-day and forget what really matters to you. With help from friends and neighbors, I turned the side of an abandoned house in my neighborhood into a giant chalkboard to invite my neighbors to remember and share what is important to them. Before I Die transforms neglected spaces into constructive ones where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us. If you’re in New Orleans, stop by the corner of Marigny and Burgundy (900 Marigny Street) to add your thoughts to the wall and discover what matters most to your neighbors. I believe the design of our public spaces can better reflect what’s important to us as residents and as human beings. The responses and stories from passersby while we were installing it have already hit me hard in the heart.”
In only one day, the wall goes from empty to this…
You know that I love this country right? But after seeing what people did to the “Lebanon would be better” project..I have to say that my contribution is:
Lebanon would be better if: (some) people just GREW the hell UP!
That being said, I’m happy to see that the duo behind “Lebanon would be better,” aren’t letting the immature actions of a few get to them. Maktabi had this to say on his blog, “I’m not sure what me and Badra will do about the wall of Bliss street. One of the options is to paint over it ourselves and return it as it once was. We have more walls planned. And now it’s time to move on. Stay tuned for more Lebanon Would Be Better If projects near you. And I’m making a virtual version of the project 🙂 Away from black markers. And vandalism free ;)”
To visit the wall for your self, take a left on Jean D’Arc from Bliss street, and it’s about 100-150 meters or so up on your left hand side..right across from Books & Pens,,when you see a lady selling chiclets giving you the evil eye, you know you’re there.
And finally, to learn more about the Before I Die project in New Orleans, click here
But before you go..fill in this blank..
Lebanon would be better if…