Ouzai via Ouzville Official Facebook
CAIRO – 28 August 2017: A street artist initiative aimed at beautifying Ouzai, a slum in Beirut has helped bring color to its dilapidated streets. Titled Ouzville, the project has helped transform what was once a depressing slum into a colorful array of hope, putting smiles on the faces of its residents.
Ouzville is the brainchild of Ayad Nasser, who was born in Ouzai but moved away in his youth, according to the National. He remembers when Ouzai wasn't always in such a dire state; once a peaceful, vibrant fishing village, Lebanon's civil war turned it into an overpopulated and poorly maintained slum, abandoned by its own government.
Nasser had taken it upon himself to make matters better.
Working with artists from both Lebanon and abroad, Nasser communicated directly with the people of Ouzai to help bring color to its buildings. Since the project began 18 months ago, over 140 buildings have been completely painted over. Yet the project isn't just about giving the town a much needed makeover; by changing Ouzai's outter appearance, its reputation as one of Lebanon's worst slums is turned on its head, transforming it from a place to be avoided to one to visit.
Through art, Ouzville helps bring unification and beauty back to a country once divided by a brutal war.