When Street Art Sends A Message Of Peace on Lebanese Rooftops
The ASHEKMAN crew has recently created an inspiring project that has brought a renewed sense of happiness to formerly fraught neighborhoods.
Titled #OperationSalam, it is a street art initiative that included a painting of a gigantic word “Salam”, meaning peace in Arabic, on 85 buildings in the northern city of Tripoli.
Written in Arabic calligraphy, this massive piece can only be seen from above!
Making a beautiful transit from war to peace, their stunning artwork summarizes the real spirit of the city. Guided by a passion for life, innovation and healing, ASHEKMAN chose Tripoli to implement their first project of its kind not only in Lebanon but in the world.
The ASHEKMAN Crew
The Kabbani brothers grew up in Beirut’s al-Hamra district in the final years of Lebanon’s civil war which took place between 1975 and 1990. After studying Arabic calligraphy under master calligrapher Ali Assi, they became heavily inspired by the Lebanese civil war graffiti, created by various war militias, that first emerged during the 1980s and 90s. Born out of war, they decided to pursue their interests and use it for peace.
Through their work, ASHEKMAN aims to revive the rich Arabic culture and heritage through creating art in the urban context.
Created and curated by ASHEKMAN, the street initiative #OperationSalam took place in the North of Lebanon in the infamous Syria street that suffered the ferocious civil war between Beb el Tebbeneh and Jabal Mehssen that ended two years ago. Through their project, the crew united both fighting militias and transformed a torn city into a work of art.
With the help of 52 men from these two regions, the crew wrote the word Salam on a 1.3km stretch of land on the roofs of 85 adjacent buildings. The soldiers replaced their weapons with painting tools as a call for a peace in the city.
In addition to being visible from the sky, the green paint that they used was both anti-leakage and anti-UV, deflecting heat in the summertime and changing the living conditions of those in the buildings for the better.
In logistical collaboration with the Marsh Social Society, active in the region and among the residents, the crew breached the seam line between the two regions, moving the region to the new horizons of the future.
ASHEKMAN – #OperationSalam, Lebanon Street Art
A Career Milestone
In order to share the story behind #OperationSalam, the crew has created a short film covering the entire project. The film was produced by Firas Chehabeddine Photography and directed and edited by Nassif Al Rayess.
With the project, the crew also wanted to change people’s perception of his people and show that there’s plenty of creativity and plenty of people trying to live their life. The operation certainly serves as a milestone in their career.
After realizing the largest of their projects to date and its positive resonance, ASHEKMAN plans for many similar projects in both Lebanon and abroad.
Featured image: #OperationSalam. All images courtesy of ASHEKMAN.