The Ashekman twins have painted the walls of Beirut once again – this time with a great message: “ma tishrab w tsouk” or “don’t drink and drive.” The very large piece of street art is located near Monot and Sodeco, along the same street as Falamanki and right after La Piazza. If you had noticed before, there were existing pieces of graffiti on this strip, some focusing on the same issue, before the Ashekman twins took it over with their striking orange/turquoise on black combo. As is their style, it’s a lovely example of Arabic typography (which is also used in the tshirt & sweatshirt designs sold at their store in Hamra).
Although already notorious for their work throughout the city, I feel this one is quite special because of it’s message. There is nothing original in what it is saying but it is vibrant enough that it will hit you when you see it – as it should because drunk driving is a preventable problem. This tag in specific was done for Kunhadi, an NGO focused on youth awareness for road safety. Too many people, many of them too young, have been victims of reckless driving. Based on the The Lebanon I Dream Of documentary from 2009, car accidents increase 13% annually leading to 700 deaths/year. Based on Blogbaladi via YASA (Youth Association for Safety Awareness), a 20% increase in accidents is expected for 2013. Drunk driving is one of the “accidents” we can avoid.