While taking a walk from the national museum area, down towards Sodeco, you can stop and give Yazan Halwani’s calligraffiti mural “West Beirut” a glance.
The mural is located on the Noueiri building, which was previously destroyed in the ’70s because of it being located on the former “Green Line” that divided east from west Beirut. That makes it a perfect spot for this mural.
The calligraffiti piece was inspired by the famous movie “West Beirut”. If you haven’t watched that movie yet, then what are you waiting for? I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched the movie. It talks about 3 children trying to live a somewhat normal childhood in a war-torn Beirut. I’ve always found that movie relatable to us Lebanese, from the accent to the lifestyles. It reminds me of all the stories I’ve heard my parents talk about, how they grew up through and survived the war days.
As for the mural itself, it shows a scene from the movie where May and Tarek, two kids from different backgrounds but the same country, share cotton candy. This monochromatic art piece serves as a reminder of the division of Beirut as well as the darkness of the war versus the innocence of the children. This piece is proof of how you can draw inspiration from chaos.
So next time you pass through that area just look up and give this mural a glance, take it as a reminder to always choose peace and kindness over war.