No, this post is not about COVID.
It’s about Lebanon, and if you’re reading it, chances are you’ve heard about the country’s tumultuous past year. A political and economic crisis, much time in the making, sparked countrywide protests beginning in October 2019. In the time since, the economic situation has only deteriorated further (not to mention, of course, COVID… but, as promised, we’re not here to talk about that).
We’re here to share some of the inspirational work of the talented artists and powerful voices that, in the wake of the turmoil, took to the streets with their passion and creativity.
Here are some of NaTakallam’s favorites — with a sprinkle of Arabic lessons along the way!
1. “Oh Lebanon, piece of paradise” / لبنان يا قطعة سما
@dear.nostalgia’s “Oh Lebanon, piece of paradise.”
2. “To the street!” / عالشارع!
@kibok.art’s “To the street!” — ! عالشارع
3. “The Love Revolution” / ثورة حب
@amani.ashkar: ثورة حب, meaning “the love revolution”
4. “Revolution of pots” / ثورة الطناجر
This pot-banging protest known as “cacerolazo” (Spanish term), is usually associated with Latin America, but it has played an important role in Lebanon as well.
@antonybmhanna’s: ثورة الطناجر or “the revolution of pots”.
5. “I don’t want to fear revolution and love” / ما بدي خاف الثورة والحب
@rawand.issa_’s Picasso-esque piece about not wanting to fear revolution or love.
6. “Peace and love” / سلام وحب
سلام (“salaam”) meaning ‘peace’ in Arabic might be among the first words you learn in Arabic (i.e. in the greeting, As-salāmu ʿalaykum). @yazanhalwani’s statue ‘سلام وحب’ means peace and love.
7. “Embrace me under the sky of Beirut” / اغمرني تحت سماء بيروت
Artwork by @miraelfeel: Embrace me under the sky of Beirut.
8. “Back, back, to rebuild it” / راجع راجع يتعمر
@dear.nostalgia’s artwork: “back, back, to rebuild it”, or “it will be rebuilt”. The hope for Lebanon to be back on its feet again.
9. “Where are we going?” / لوين رايحين؟
As the world is uncertain right now, this question has been on the minds of billions of people, not just Lebanese, around the world today: “Where are we going?”
Artwork by @tamara_nasr, with a side of a reality check.
10. All for the nation / كلنا للوطن
Whether in the face of an uprising or weathering uncertain times, let the words of @nouriflayhan remind us of unity: All for the nation, or homeland.
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Fascinated by learning Lebanese Arabic from scratch? Look no further.
Last March, NaTakallam officially launched its programming with the Lebanese dialect, and is, for the first time ever, supporting host communities alongside refugees.
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