Tunisia’s Tallest Minaret Sprayed With el Seed Calligraffiti

graffiti, street art, Quran, Tunisia, mosque Jara Mosque in Gabes boasts the tallest minaret in all of Tunisia and now it is covered in el Seed’s signature calligraffiti. Exactly one year after the Jasmine revolution, the French/Tunisian graffiti artist took on his largest project to date in creative protest against the intolerance shown by both artists and hard line Islamists since President Ben Ali’s infamous ouster. It is also the first time he has worked on a vertical wall.

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This artistic three minute film co-directed by Kafi Films and Da Fox In Da Box unveils the spirit of el Seed’s Jara Mosque mural project.

To those of us in the Middle East who are concerned with creativity and community, el Seed is something of a hero. We’ve featured his work previously but this latest project in Tunisia’s southern industrial city Gabes is definitely one of his most exciting.

His goal as an artist in general and with this particular project is to fight intolerance, to promote unity and love in a country that is unravelling at the seams following the rise of long-suppressed ultraconservative Islamists.

graffiti, street art, Quran, Tunisia, mosque

“The objective is to inspire people from different backgrounds,” el Seed said in the video above. “To come together, to bring love and to unite.”

Sponsored by the Barjeel Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates, el Seed worked with a local organization called Al Khaldounia to obtain permission to create this enormous mural of peace. A whopping 47 meters tall and 10 meters wide, the Quranic verse covers two sides of the minaret.

This is what it says:

“Oh humankind, we have created you from a male ad a female and made people and tribes so you may know each other.”

graffiti, street art, Quran, Tunisia, mosque Executed in stylized Arabic script, this powerful message neutralizes the hateful discourse that has been populating the airwaves in recent days.

“I hope that this artistic wall on the minaret will help to revive the city, and especially tourism in Gabes,” said Slah Thebet, Imam of Jara Mosque.

All images taken from el Seed’s Facebook page.

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