eL Seed: Merging Arabic calligraphy and street art

Updated 8:11 AM ET, Wed September 19, 2012
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A giant mural in the town of Kairouan to celebrate the first anniversary of the Tunisian revolution. This was part of a project supported by the community organization Al Khaldounia. eL Seed
Calligraffiti on a wall in a neighborhood of Tunis. It spells a quote by Tunisian poet Abu Al Qassim Acchabi: "The sun rose behind the centuries." JP Desjardins
eL Seed took part in a project to paint on walls in a suburb of Paris called Montry. As he was nearing the end, the owner of the wall, who had agreed to the painting, objected because it was in Arabic. "I had forgotten the particularly violent brand of French Arabophobia normalized in mainstream culture," said eL Seed on his website. "For this man, seeing an Arab man paint in Arabic surely scared him."A week later, eL Seed returned in defiance and wrote "Open Your Heart" on a public wall nearby. eL Seed
During a recent visit to Cape Town, eL Seed defied advice to visit a township and paint on the wall of a newly constructed daycare building. He said there was a lot of debate among locals about his decision to write in Arabic. The words mean "It is impossible unitl it is done." Kent Lingeveldt
eL Seed's "Writing History," painted this year in the Tunisian town of Kairouan Kafi Films
eL Seed painted his olive tree in Montreal as a symbol of peace throughout the Mediterranean and the identity of the Palestinian culture. The mural is called "My Name is Palestine." Mariel Rosenbluth
The words of this mural "You will win, but you will not convince" by the Spanish writer Miguel de Unamuno appear throughout Frankfurt, where eL Seed was taking part in a public art project. He said: "I feel (these) words describe very well the situation today, not only in the Arab world, but everywhere." eL Seed
eL Seed said he painted the mural "Respect Our Elders" in Montreal in an attempt to bridge the gap that has grown between generations. "Too often in modern times, elders of a community are not looked upon with admiration and love, but rather with impatience and disdain," he said on his website. eL Seed
A mural called "History," in the Tunisian town of Kairouan. JP Desjardins