World’s largest trash mural makes life in Syria a little less awful

world's largest trash mural, damascus, syria, moaffak makhoul, recycled materials, war, trash mural, Guinness Book of Records

Anyone who hasn’t been to Syria in the last few years can’t possibly grasp the full extent of the horrors Syrians have endured, but we do know it has been unspeakably hard. To take the edge off, a handful of artists in Damascus built what the Guinness Book of Records recently confirmed is the world’s largest mural made with trash.

Led by Moaffak Makhoul, six artists spent six months building the wall using whatever recycled materials they could find. Old spark plugs, broken tiles, keys, rusted iron, bicycle wheels, broken mirrors – all were fair game for the colorful mural.

Measuring 2, 362 square feet in total, the largest mural made with recycled materials in the world, the inspiration piece stands just outside of a primary school in the country’s capital.

Although this part of the country has been relatively unscathed in the three year battle that has killed at least 140,000, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and made refugees of two million, no Syrian is untouched.

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Everybody knows somebody who has lost a family member and the atmosphere is undoubtedly tense – particularly for children who have been robbed of the opportunity to live an innocent life.

Makhoul told Reuters that now is the most appropriate time for the mural.

“I’ve been sad to see a lot of my colleagues, artists, all traveling abroad and leaving,” he said. “God be with them and give them luck – but the country also needs all of us.”

Students told Reuters that they are excited about the mural. Not only did it make one child more excited to come to school, but another said the materials made him more aware of what can be done with what some people think of trash.

What a beautiful metaphor – the broken pieces of the country may one day be recombined into a unified, brighter whole – just like this incredible labor of love.

Image via Guinness Book of World Records

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