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“What are you doing sir?” his question took me so much by surprise that the only thing I managed to say was: “I am trying to find out what people leave behind them”, and I forgot to add “on the walls.” “What people leave behind them? What you are photographing was left by my grandfather. He left that and a couple of children.” And then he thoughtfully added: “But you can forget the children, when he died neither my father nor my uncle were on speaking terms with him. So this is all he left behind.” Welcome to (RE)Archewallogy, the study of the walls of Beirut. “Que faites-vous monsieur?” Sa question me prit tellement par surprise que pour toute réponse je dit: “Je cherche à voir ce que les gens laissent dérrière eux,” en oubliant d’ajouter “sur les murs.” “Ce que les gens laissent dérrière eux? Ce que vous prenez en photo a été laissé par mon grand-père. Il a laissé çca et deux enfants.” Puis après réflection il ajouta: “Mais vous pouvez oublier les enfants. Lorsqu’il est mort ni mon père ni mon oncle ne lui adressaient la parole. Alors c’est qu’il a laissé dérrière lui.” Bienvenue au livre “Les murs murs 2 la ville” l’étude des murs de Beyrouth. ‫ «انني‬:‫تصور يا استاذ؟» فاجأني الصوت بشدة فكان كل ما وجدت من جواب‬ ‫«ماذا‬ ّ ‫احاول اكتشاف ما يتركه الناس واءهم» ولشدة ارتباكي نسيت ان أقول «على‬ ».‫ باالضافة الى ولدين‬،‫تصوره تركه جدي‬ ‫ «ما يتركه الناس وراءهم؟ ما‬.»‫الحيطان‬ ّ ‫ فعندما مات جدي لم يكن ابي أو عمي‬،‫ «يمكنك ان تنسى الولدين‬:‫ثم اضاف‬ ً ‫» أه‬.‫يتكلمان معه فما بقي إال ما تركه على الحيطان‬ ‫ال بكم في «الحيطان عم‬ .‫تحكيني تاني» وهي دراسة حيطان بيروت‬ designed by Farah Samman

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Praise for The Wit and Wisdom of Arty Stotle (2003):

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“Not only it is well-written and thought-provoking, but what I like best about this book is how human it is, and here, I am referring to Chemaly’s self-note of him trying to be a human being in the inner flap of the book, a task at which he supremely succeeds.” Alain de Botton -Author of How Proust Can Change Your Life “Pretty well done!” Win McCormack – Publisher,Tin House Magazine “People were leaning over me on the subway to get a glimpse of what I was reading. This book is a social catalyst!” Caroline O’sullivan – Journalist, The Guardian “One of the most important poetic voices in the Eastern Mediterranean” Micheal Dennison -American Poet, Chair of the Poetry Department American University of Beirut “Comical, ironic and filled with symbolism and allegory, [Chemaly’s] poems are cleverly wrought glimpses into the human condition.” Alexander Besant - The Daily Star “Somehow in his artwork, to which the self-made book is inextricably linked, Chemaly manages to fuse all his interests together into a lively explosion of pop culture, mass consumerism, and the dual postmodern malaises of loneliness and alienation.” Kaelen Wilson Goldie – The Daily Star Praise for Getting The News From Poems (2009): “I thought it was fascinating, if a bit bewildering and over-caffeinated at times:quick and liquid,a sort of Kerouac/ Joycean spilling forth of energy and thought. It has momentum, certainly. There is plenty to admire, the mom with her two coffees and 13 mini-cookies, the stuff about passengers clapping when a plane lands safely in the Middle East. It is bound to go places.” Anthony Doerr – Author of The Shell Collector (Commenting on an earlier draft of the manuscript)

Praise for Archewallogy (2009):

“This looks great and if it wouldn’t be you collecting and archiving all this graffiti for years this would never be possible. To use it in this hip hop rap band video where it also belongs is just great. You are the true modern and up to date cultural chronicler of Beirut’s life. It really works well.” Miha Vipotnik, Multimedia artist and painter “Congratulations. This is truly ‘awsome’, if that word still counts as part of the ‘street’ vocabulary.” Hossein Shahidi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Lebanese American University (Lebanon) “Beautiful and wild!” Tobi Cogswell, Poet “Fascinanting!” Diogo Vasconcelos, Distinguished Fellow, Cisco Systems International (UK) “Beautiful work, really great, the book, the format, the clip, everything is really a great package to tell the story, and fly away on its own.” Nadine Touma, Publisher, Dar Onboz

Praise for Archewallogy San Francisco (2010):

“While you state: “truly, to my knowledge there has been no case previously where academia went head on with street culture and produced such a collaborative effect.” you do not acknowledge that you, yourself, are a “street person” of sorts. By that, I reference walking the streets of San Francisco and learning to see things I had walked past so many times before. Your eye for street art (be it graffiti, advertising, people, murals, or whatever) is the creative vision that allowed (perhaps inspired) your book and collaborative effort. Your work is unique, very entertaining, and professionally created. Congratulations!” Jon Leitner, Patron of the arts, CEO C.P. Byrnes

(Re)Archewallogy  

How the walls of the city tell its tale like archaeology used to do in the past. This is study 2 of Beirut. Originally published in 2010 by...

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