Yazan Halwani has surely made a name for himself in the artistic world, painting murals through a combination of Arabic calligraphy and portraits.
Dubbed as "Beirut's Banksy," Halwani was born in 1993 and showcases his art by painting walls in countries all around the world – from Germany to Lebanon to the United Arab Emirates, to name a few.
His work does not fail to bring back a long-lost culture that has been overshadowed by political instability and a war-stricken reality. His art has surely given people something to hold on to, despite all the challenges they are faced with.
Using art as his outlet of expression, Halwani, just like all great artists, has been a victim of vandalism. His portraits of Ali Abdallah and Mahmoud Darwish were vandalized. Nonetheless, his art gives a whole new meaning to storytelling, and these 8 beautiful murals are the perfect example:
If you've lived in Beirut and passed Hamra street, you are no stranger to this face. Fares was a 10-year-old flower salesmen who passed away while visiting his home in Syria when a rocket hit his house. Halwani painted his face on a building in Dortmund, Germany. "I regret not paining during his life," Halwani mentions on his Instagram caption.
The legendary Lebanese artist, Sabah, was painted on the iconic "Heart of Hamra" building from the Beirut pre-war era. The building is home to the legendary Horseshoe Café, where Nizar Qabbani, Paul Guiragossian and many other Arab artists used to sit. It is one of the largest murals in Beirut, which Halwani believes immortalizes "the woman that was loved by all and was able to challenge the rules of society."
3. Ali Abdallah
A tribute to Ali Abdallah, the homeless man that lived on Bliss Street that everybody knew and loved. "Next time you see it, remember to help someone," Halwani said on the Instagram caption.
One of Halwani's best murals is that of Fairuz taking over the streets of Gemayzzeh, Lebanon. "Our grandfathers invented the zero, and their grandchildren became zeroes," Halwani said in the Instagram caption.
5. Sheikh Zayed
In honor of the UAE's national day, Halwani painted a portrait of Sheikh Zayed, using words and poems that UAE residents gave him, which he used to form Sheikh Zayed's face.
6. Mahmoud Darwish
Halwani's mural of Palestine's legendary poet and author, Mahmoud Darwish is linked to Darwish's quote: "On this Land, there's what's worth living," which Halwani resonates with. "I am still in Beirut, I don't know why sometimes. For me too I guess On this Land, There's what's worth living," he writes on Instagram .
7. Kahlil Gibran
Halwani paid tribute to Kahlil Gibran in a re-imagined 100,000 lira note mural.
One of the greatest Middle Eastern performers, Asmahan, was definitely not one to be missed by Halwani.