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I'm not a blogger and write my own history.
I edit posts after the fact.

The Downtown Cairo Graffiti Mafia
posted by Don Karl on 2015-10-28

I’m so happy to have been able to come back to Cairo for a weekend and meet some long missed friends and my fellow Homeland Hackers.

Photo by Abdo El Amir

posted by Don Karl on 2015-10-20

By now the whole world must have heard about our epic Homeland graffiti hack. At least that's what it feels like. Heba Amin, Caram Kapp and I have given interviews from Canada to Columbia, from Morocco to Iran. Friends start to complain that their newsfeeds are only about this story. We are very baffled that this small little thing that we did had such a global impact. And we are really happy about the wider discussion it has started.

Read our original statement here:
"Arabian Street Artists Bomb Homeland: Why we hacked an award-winning Series"

My video interview AJ+ - "Graffiti Artists Sabotage Homeland Set" was already viewed by more then 3 Million people.

Homeland is Waltermelon (baloney)

Arabic Graffiti & Egyptian Street Art at the Urban Art Biennial / 29 March - 1 November 2015
posted by Don Karl on 2015-04-30

I was lucky enough to have been invited to help curate the Arabic Graffiiti artists for the Urban Art Biennial in Völklingen. This huge exhibition is one of the best selection of international Urban artists that I have seen in a long time. And the amazing location, the UNESCO world heritage Völklinger Hütte (iron works) is a special treat in itself. This is a must see for everyone who is into art, doesn't hate street art and graffiti and happens to be in Germany this year.

Curator Frank Krämer and Ammar Abo Bakr at the opening, a piece by Hanaa el Degham in the background.

With Aya Tarek, Ammar Abo Bakr, Alaa Awad, A1One, el Seed, Ganzeer, Hanaa el Degham, Nazeer, Tarek Benaoum, Yazan, Zepha.

Egyptian Public Prosecutor confiscates book 'Walls of Freedom' for inciting revolution
posted by Don Karl on 2014-04-14

400 copies of our book have been confiscated in February by the customs authority in Alexandria port. The police was been called in and filed a report for the prosecution. The competent authority, namely the Head of Censorship in Cairo, has publicly and repeatedly declared his clearance of Walls of Freedom. But even after a decision by the Egyptian Cabinet of Ministers, the Public Prosecutor has sill refused to release the books. We are working with human rights lawyers to end this next attack on freedom of expression in Egypt. Walls of Freedom is a historical record that cannot be deleted or rewritten by censorship.

13 March – 13 September 2014
posted by Don Karl on 2014-03-16


This exhibition at the Printing Museum in Houston, Texas, examines the development and impact of Arabic graffiti over the past decade through 30 contemporary photographs and accompanying didactic panels. The exhibition looks at the history and development of traditional Arabic script and calligraphy, providing a framework and context for contemporary calligraphy and graffiti work. However, the exhibition is primarily looking at how contemporary Arabic graffiti artists, mostly from Middle Eastern descent, are reviving and reinterpreting Arabic letter forms into a new graphic style, creating new lettering and typography that is becoming a part of an increasingly globalized design field and practice.

Graffiti artists represented in the exhibition include Ammar Abo Bakr, El Seed, Hest1, Julien Breton aka Kaalam, L'Atlas, Monsieur Cana aka Askar, Native & ZenTwO, Sadhu, Sun7 aka Jonas Bournat, Typism and Keos, Yazan, and Zepha aka Vincent Abadie Hafez. Calligraphy artists represented include Malik Anas Al-Rajab, Hassan Massoudy, Mohamed Gaber, and Sameh Ismael.


Walls of Freedom - done!
posted by Don Karl on 2014-03-15

This week I received a package by courier from the Mediterranean Island of Malta. The parcel contained the first two copies of Walls of Freedom. Despite having waited for this moment for nearly three years, I needed 15 minutes until I dared to open it. To make it short: It came out just beautiful, it feels great in your hand and I could not put it down for most of my free time the rest of the week. Feeling very relieved and happy, there is really not much to more to say. Now the book has to speak for itself and all those interested have open the book themselves to see what the fuzz is all about.

posted by Don Karl on 2014-03-12

It has been a privilege to work with eL Seed on his upcoming first book Lost Walls. EL Seed is not only an incredibly talented and creative artist and a good friend, but also very professional. Since Arabic Graffiti, for both of which versions his artworks adorn the covers, our paths have crossed several times in inspiring ways. When he approached me with his book idea before embarking for his Calligraffiti Journey through Tunisia, I did not have to think twice to know that From Here To Fame needed to publish this book. The outcome is a jewel, it is not only full of beautiful artworks and photographs of Tunisia, but comes with insightful and touching writing by el Seed exploring his heritage and essays by several authors. Next week eL Seed will launch a limited hardcover edition at Art Dubai. Jeffrey Deitch (who wrote a great foreword for Lost Walls) is attending and will give a lecture on Calligraffiti.

Walls of Freedom - Banned in China!
posted by Don Karl on 2014-01-08

First the good news: Walls of Freedom will have more pages, we are now at 260 and counting. And the book will be even better than advertised—it’s already epic! The artists, authors, photographers, Basma Hamdy and myself, as well as three text editors, translators, two project assistants, two graphic designers and a whole department of photo editors have made sure of that. During the last 2 ½ months there has not been a single day off for us and on average we worked crazy 12-14h shifts each day—and no, I really am not kidding. We decided to go the extra mile, skip Christmas, and finalize the book for print until New Year’s Eve. And here is where the bad news started.

We were suddenly hunted by a lot of bad luck. Computers crashed in a row, and after we managed to get them back alive (try to find a system administrator that works on Christmas night), people from and around our team fell ill. But the really bad news came from an entirely unexpected direction. From Here To Fame Publishing—as do many art book publishers—prints its books in China. We have a very good working relationship with our friends there that make sure that quality and working conditions are according to the best standards.

The Chinese Publishing and Printing Control Authority, that checks on all books printed in the country, has refused to allow Walls of Freedom to be printed in China. Unknown to us before, the Chinese government thinks the Egyptian revolution has been orchestrated by western countries. They actually believe this book is counter-revolutionary! We tried to find a solution with our Chinese friends and even ways to circumvent the censor, but it soon became clear that this is not a joke and that our partners would risk their livelihood and arrest if we try to print the book in China.

We expected that Walls of Freedom may get banned in some countries, but we did not anticipate that it will already get banned from printing.

Walls of Freedom - The most difficult project in my life
posted by Don Karl 2013-07-29

What has surprised you the most in creating Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution? 

"The responsibility coming with the project and the amount of work necessary.  We have a slogan for our graffiti  books “know your history”, so we take great care with what information we do transport, knowing that we contribute to art historical records. But mixing up a name here and there or a date in a graffiti book is not the same as when you are trying to convey a record for the revolution in Egypt. So many people died and so many people sacrificed so much. For many, normal life and job ceased to exist now for more than 2 ½ years.  So we want to stay true to that and to our friends who are putting so much trust in us. Of course we know that we will only have some stories of a Revolution and not THE story of the Revolution. But still we want to try our very best. So this and the fact that the revolution has not ended, and the great artworks created in the streets along with it keep increasing every week has made this the most difficult project in my life. And I did publish my first book 27 years ago, so I usually know exactly what to expect.  We were about to finish the book last December, and then suddenly Millions were in the streets again and our friends were painting the Presidential Palace walls. This is when we realized we need financial help  to get this book together."

Read more from this interview with me on 9 Muses News

Walls of Freedom - Crowdfunding Campaign
posted on 2013-05-29

50 photographers, 30 Artists, 20 Essays, 240 pages... After more than 2 years of research and 1.5 years of writing, translating editing and designing...we need your help to finish this book.

Since the beginning of the revolution, we have been involved in Egypt's thriving urban art scene. We worked in close collaboration with a network of its leading artists on mural projects, events and exhibitions. Over a year ago we started to work on the book 'Walls of Freedom', in order to professionally document the Egyptian Street Art explosion. The amazing artworks of the last three years pieced together, tell the whole story of the Egyptian revolution. As many of you know, our projects and books are first of all done for the artists and for the communities we work with. This philosophy does not leave much financial leverage. We have put our heart and soul and a staggering amount of work into 'Walls of Freedom'. But by doing this, this project also became more and more unviable. To be able to finish the book the same way that we have started it and to truly do justice to the artists and the story of the revolution, we now ask for your support.

Support our Indiegogo campaign and get hold of some of the most amazing perks ever!


Arabic Graffiti - extended edition
posted on 2013-03-12

Arabic Graffiti - extended edition
Arabic Graffiti - extended - This book is an international success and remains the standard work on the topic. This new and revised edition is extended by a chapter about the graffiti of the recent Arab uprisings written by Rana Jarbou.

More than four years of research culminated in the publication of the first edition Arabic Graffiti (English) in January 2011. However just then, the Arab uprisings started, and concurrently an explosion of Arabic Graffiti hit the region. Even while residing in Berlin, Don Karl found himself in the middle of these currents. Through various art projects he broadened his contacts with artists, who took part in the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions, and befriended many of them.mTogether with Pascal Zoghbi, Don Karl organized Arabic Graffiti exhibitions and events around Arabic Graffiti in Alexandria, Amman, Beirut, Berlin, Bochum, Boston, Cairo, Dresden, Dubai, Frankfurt, Mannheim, Montreal, Nantes, Paris and Weimar, to name a few.


25th January 2013
posted on 2013-01-25

Article (in German) by Don Karl on Egyptian Street Art for Swiss TV :

Die Farben der Revolution

Die explosionsartige Entwicklung der Street Art und Graffitibewegung in Ägypten sorgte international für Aufmerksamkeit und Erstaunen. Das sollten sie eigentlich nicht. Denn schliesslich hat Ägypten einige Tausend Jahre Erfahrung mit dem Beschreiben und Bemalen von Wänden. Mehr

Photo by Beshoy Fayez
Mural by Alaa Awad in Mohammed Mahmoud Street, February 2012. Photo by Beshoy Fayez

Street-Art & Political Protest Culture
posted on 2012-11-13

Street Art & Political Protest Culture, Don Karl & Ganzeer

Thursday, November 15th
Discussion with Don Karl (Berlin), Ganzeer (Cairo), Fred Meier-Menzel (Weimar/Cairo)
Moderation: Marina Sorbello (Berlin)

Right-to- Left exhibition at Studio 1, Kunstquartier Kreuzberg Bethanien

posted on 2012-11-03

White Wall Beirut (6th September - 3rd November) has been the largets Street Art and Graffiti exhibition and event in the Middle East to date. 15 International and 19 Lebanese artists created an unforgettable exhibition at the Beirut Art Center and changed the face of the streets of Beirut with an incredible amount of small and large scale murals.

Check White Wall's Facebook page and the White Wall Website to get a picture!

White Wall's Arabic Graffiti murals:

"Self Revolution" by Ali, Yazan and Zepha, Beirut, 2012

left: "Beirut, Beirut, Beirut...", right: "Banana Republic - Beirut", both murals byYazan Beirut, 2012

Ammar Abo Bakr and Zepha aka Vincent Abadie Hafezi 2012

The result of White wall's Arabic Graffiti workshop held by Pascal Zoghbi and Zepha aka Vincent Abadie Hafezi 2012

left: "Hona al Dahiyeh - Here in Dahiyeh" by Ali Bahsoun, 2012 / right: "Poem by Soufi Poet Jalaluddin" by Ali 2012

ZEPHA aka Vincent Abadie Hafez, White Wall Exhibition, Beirut Art Center, 2012

From Here To Fame is proud to have been partner to this great event!
Curated by Siska (Beirut), Don Karl (Germany) and Charles Vallaud (France).

Beirut Art Center: Le Graffiti arabe - Revised French Edition book release
posted on 2012-10-31

As part of our exhibition WHITE WALL, a book launch of the new and revised French edition, Le Graffiti arabe, and a presentation of the project Arabic Graffiti will take place at Beirut Art Center.
Beirut Art Center

Wednesday, October 31st, 8 pm - Book Launch - Beirut Art Center
Don Karl and Pascal Zoghbi narrate the journey of making this book. More than four years of research culminated in the publication of the first edition Arabic Graffiti (English) in January 2011. However just then, the Arab uprisings started, and concurrently an explosion of Arabic Graffiti hit the region. Even while residing in Berlin, Don Karl found himself in the middle of these currents. Through various art projects he broadened his contacts with artists, who took part in the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions, and befriended many of them. Eventually he invited some of them to partake in the White Wall exhibition in Beirut.

Friday 2nd November - 5 pm - Book Signing - Salon du Livre Francophone

Arabic Graffiti French edition book release & el Seed Solo exhibtion in Paris - 12th October 2012
posted on 2012-10-13
Le Graffiti arabe, el Seed, Don Karl, Pascal Zoghbi

Gallery Itinerrance in Paris showed an exeptional exhibition by el Seed. The packed opening went along with the book release of our long awaited French edition of Arabic Graffiti.

Arabic Graffiti cultural week in Paris
18 - 22 September 2012
posted on 2012-09-17

Tuesday, September 18th -6pm
Mairie du 13e, 1 place d'Italie
'Arabic Graffiti' exhibition opening & Cocktail party
Canvases and photographs collected by From Here To Fame Publishing and the gallery Mehdi Ben Cheikh on display.

Arabic Graffiti exhibition at Mairie 13eme in Paris

Wednesday, September 19, 8pm: Shorts
Selection of the best Tunisian film creations. You'll enjoy a rich program of events and discoveries around six films highlights of the past 5 years.

Friday, September 21, 8pm: "Prisoner 3300"
There is no need to introduce Hedi Baballah, Tunisian actor and comedian known for being the first actor to have dared to imitate the former Tunisian president Ben Ali. "Prisoner 3300", a reference to his unfortunate experience, is a "one man show" in which he presents a series of hilarious skits.

Saturday, September 22, 2012, 8pm: Concert
Sana & Skander will share with you a memorable musical moment with all the musicians who played on their new album "Alem Jdid". Other visual artists, dancers, singers and musicians from all directions will accompany this concert!

See the full programme in French here.

  Coming up: WHITE WALL Beirut!
posted on 2012-08-16

See our White Wall website, for all details or follow us on Facebook.

A project in association with:

  Arabic Graffiti on Tunisia’s tallest minaret
posted on 2012-08-16

French-born Tunisian artist eL Seed is currently suspended 57 meters in the air in an effort to paint Tunisia's largest graffiti mural on the country’s tallest minaret, located at the Jara Mosque in the south-eastern industrial city of Gabès.

Reacting to the recent clashes between religious sects and the art community in Tunisia, the artist embarked on a project to transform this religious landmark into a public artwork during the holy month of Ramadan. "This project is not about decorating a mosque, it is about making art a visible actor in the process of cultural and political change," comments el Seed, who started work on the mural on July 20. "I truly believe that art can bring about fruitful debate, especially within the uncertain political climate right now in Tunisia."

"I hope that this artistic wall on the minaret will help to revive the city, and especially tourism in Gabes," comments the mosque’s Imam, Slah Thebet. The 57-meter-high mural will permanently cover the entire concrete tower face of Jara Mosque exhibiting the words, "Oh humankind, we have created you from a male and a female and made people and tribes so you may know each other," a verse of from the Qur'an, which addresses the importance of mutual respect and tolerance through knowledge as an obligation.

Barjeel Art Foundation is funding the project. Founded by art collector and avid Arab affairs commentator Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, Barjeel Art Foundation hosts a publicly accessible Arab art collection in Sharjah and participates in art projects internationally. Among the foundation's guiding principles is to contribute to the intellectual development of the region's art scene.

  Open until 19th of August: Arabic Graffiti Exhibition - Museum of Islamic Art in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin
posted on 2012-08-15

"For a long time, walls were shuttered windows.
They were prisons, through which no color,
shape or word could escape.
Finally, these walls have become open windows;
allowing our dreams to flow out onto the streets.

We pour our love and our anxiety onto these walls;
our need for expression was silenced for so long.
We cover these walls with color to empty our hearts.
Painting these walls, we chain our fears.
It means taking back our space as a people;
re-appropriating a right that was denied us.
Painting these walls, we rediscover our dignity,
our freedom and our honor."

eL SEED, Calligraffiti on canvas above a more than 1200 years old piece of a wall of the palace of Mshatta, 2012

"HE is a bowl of rice pudding", the silent Sufi,
Acrylic on canvas, AMMAR ABO BAKR, 2012


Arabic Graffiti at the Museum of Islamic Art in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin
posted on 2012-07-25

25th July - 19th August 2012

A selection of photos and artworks of our 'Arabic Graffiti' project and book and are on display at the Museum of Islamic Art in the Pergamon Museum throughout the duration of the cultural festival 'Nights of the Ramadan'. The works have been created by graffiti artists, calligraphers and typographers from the Middle East and around the world, who combine Arabic calligraphy with graffiti, street art and urban culture.

Sat 4th of August 2012
Arabic Calligraffiti - Artist Talk & Multimedia Performance

7:30 pm Artist Talk
Calligraffiti - between traditional calligraphy and graffiti
Dr. Stefan Weber (Germany), eL Seed (Tunisia/France), Nick Torgoff (France), Don Karl (Germany)

Break - A small buffet (water, dates and pastries) is served to break the fast.

9:30 pm audiovisual multimedia performance
Arabic Calligraffiti
eL SEED & eL AKRylonumerik
Visual illustration of the seven suspended poems of Mecca

The street artist eL Seed blends Arabic calligraphy and graffiti  and has influenced graffiti artists throughout the Arab world. Together with the Parisian video and street art collective AKRylonumerik he shows a unique multimedia performance in the Mshatta hall of the Museum of Islamic Art at the Pergamon Museum. The artists use creative digital and analog tools. White Paper and ink are used as well as digital paintbrush and state of the art tactile multi-touch technology. Like a group of musicians connected with the help of cameras, VJing, software and other live video mixing tools, these two creative input sources are merged into a single digital cinematic real-time format.

Nicholas Torgoff (USA), Producer
Gilbert Petit (France), Art Director
Jacques Jimenez (France)

"Don't listen to people who say in Islam you cannot be creative!" el SEED

Entrance 7:30 pm | From admission until the event begins, there is the opportunity to visit the Museum of Islamic Art: Experienced local guides are looking forward to questions and discussions about the exhibition.

Tickets: 12 €, for children under 12 years: Free admission
pre-sale: at the museum, online here

Info-Service | (030) 266 42 42 42 (Mon-Fri 9 am to 4 pm)

This is an event in cooperation with the culture festival 'Nights of the Ramadan'.

'Arabic Graffiti', is an intercultural project by FROM HERE TO FAME that involves artists, activists and academics from various Middle Eastern countries and their diasporas.  Started as an art project, the recent events in the region have led to an active involvement of many participants in the transforming changes of the Arab world.


eL SEED -  The Islamic Art Renaissance

  Mural at From Here To Fame, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin
posted on 2012-06-08

"Egypt is not the Muslim Brothers"

  Arabic Street Art – Be with the Revolution,
Heinrich Böll Foundation Berlin
posted on 2012-06-03

Panel with Don Karl aka Stone (Germany), Basma Hamdy (Egypt) and Ammar Abo Bakr (Egypt)

Graffiti designs and occupies public space. They are unpredictable and can produce an agitating force. A message on the wall in an authoritarian regime is often the only method of free expression.

Don Karl (From Here To Fame Publishing), introduces us together with artists from Egypt to the forms and transformations of this ‘wall newspapers in Twitter format’ and shows examples of graffiti in Arabic countries.

10th April-24th June in Frankfurt –
Arabic Graffiti & Egyptian Street Art Gallery
posted on 2012-05-01

"Venceréis, pero no convenceréis" - "You will win, but you will not convince", Calligraffiti by El Seed

These famous words by Miguel de Unamuno appear throughout the different works in Frankfurt. "I feel this words, describe very well the situation today, not only in the Arab world, but everywhere" El Seed "At times to be silent is to lie. You will win because you have enough brute force. But you will not convince. For to convince you need to persuade. And in order to persuade you would need what you lack: Reason and Right" Miguel de Unamuno, on 12 October 1936 in a speech facing the Fascist Falangists at the University of Salamanca, Spain

100 YEARS OF THEFT‘ mural by Ammar Abo Bakr with eL SEED

The bust of Nefertiti was found on 6th December 1912 by Ludwig Borchardt. In his personal notes he wrote: "It is indescribable, you have to see it with your own eyes!" Borchart hid it's true value under layers of clay and described it "a worthless piece of gypsum" to the Egyptian Authorities. It is kept until today in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. Ammar Abo Bakr later visited Nefertiti there: "I am not asking for her to be given back, she is in a beautiful and perfect place.

Child soldier guarding the entrance of the tomp of the Pharao, by Ganzeer, collaboration with Andreas von Chrzanowski

Arabic Graffiti & Egyptian Street Art in Frankfurt
posted on 2012-04-02

Graffiti artists from Egypt, Tunisia and Germany will create a street art gallery from 10th of April around the Tutankhamun exhibition hall in Frankfurt.  Some of the best known and most active street artists from Egypt will participate, including Aya Tarek, Ammar Abo Bakr and Ganzeer. El Seed, a street artist from Tunisia whose work has influenced graffiti artists around the Arab world, and Andreas von Chrzanowski aka Case from Germany, who recently did murals in Egypt, complete this distinguished line-up.  

El Seed - Tunisia

Aya Tarek - Alexandria, Egypt

Ammar Abo Bakr - Luxor, Egypt

Another highlight is the exhibition of ten massive ankh sculptures (the Egyptian key of life) in Frankfurt. Created by ten Egyptian artists - including Bassem Yousri, Ebrahim Eslam and Aya Tarek – the ankhs add their protest and voices to the walls of Arabic Graffiti with the 3ankh project.

3ankh project

The street art gallery is rounded out with a program of related events:

Thursday 12th of April
Solitaire: theater performance by Dalia Basiouny, director and actress from Cairo
8:00 pm 
Followed by panel discussions with Dalia Basiouny and the street artists and the cultural activists Caram Kapp & Don Karl, moderated by Dr. Kersten Knipp.
Gallus Theater, Kleyerstraße 15, 60326 Frankfurt

Friday 13th of April

Opening of the Street Art Gallery

First Friday Egyptian Street Art & Arabic Graffiti
7:00 pm - Midnight 

Arabic Graffiti - El Seed & Don Karl present the book and project
8:00 pm - Exhibition Foyer

Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution - Ganzeer & Don Karl
9:00 pm -  Exhibition Foyer
Tutankhamun exhibition hall, Mainzer Landstraße, Güterplatz, 60327 Frankfurt am Main

Ganzeer - Cairo, Egypt

Since the start of the Arab uprisings the Middle East has seen an unparalleled explosion of graffiti. Many slogans which were later sung by the people on the streets first appeared on walls from Tunisia to Bahrain. Egypt has played a remarkable role in this phenomenon. Even when the army tanks rolled onto Tahrir Square in Cairo, they were immediately adorned with graffiti. Along with people from all walks of life, artists, calligraphers and designers took over the public space. In no time a vital and now globally acclaimed street art scene emerged.

Arabic Graffiti is an intercultural project by From Here To Fame that involves artists, activists and academics from various Middle Eastern countries and their diasporas. Started as an art and book project, the recent events in the region have led to an active involvement of many participants in the transforming changes of the region. Events and exhibitions are currently being developed in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, France and Germany.

Stencil and Calligraphy by Ganzeer and El Seed

The project  Arabic Graffiti & Egyptian Street Art is part of the Festival of Egyptian Culture, the program for the exhibition Tutankhamun - His tomb and treasures in Frankfurt.

Mad Graffiti Week Berlin: Jan 13-25
posted on 2012-01-27

The Mad Graffiti week is a global event in support of the Egyptian Revolution. On this Facebook page you find all information about the activities in Berlin.

"From January 13 to 25, the streets of Egypt saw an explosion of anti-military street-art. If you are a street artist elsewhere in the world, please do what you can in your city to help. Even if you are not a street-artist, if you’re a comic book artist, a musician, or filmmaker, whatever artistic talent you have can be of big help."

"We are all Khaled Said" Video Release
posted on 2011-11-07

Things have come full circle. Today our “Khaled Said on the Berlin Wall” project is concluded by the release of a video clip in honor of the Egyptian people. The video accompanies the powerful rap song “Al Esteslam” (Giving Up), which was written and performed by Khaled Said in 2007 and given to us by his sister.

There is much more to tell. More events are coming up and we have just completed our visit to Egypt – with amazing results. Just like it was from the beginning of this incredible journey; everything fell in its place in a marvelous manner.

The Aftermath

On the night of the posting of Khaled Said’s portrait in September, it immediately went viral on the Internet. The next morning we found thousands of comments and shares from all over the world across social networks. The story appeared in newspapers and TV news in the Arab world and beyond. We would like to thank everyone for their recognition and support.



Invited by the Goethe-Institute in Alexandria the Ma’Claim crew painted two Murals in the city. AYA TAREK and a group of local Street Artists created another mural on the same spot.

“Tribute to the Arab Revolution”, by AKUT, TASSO, CASE, RUSK, Alexandria, 2011

This Tribute to the Arab Revolution, by AKUT, TASSO, CASE, RUSK (Ma’Claim), depicts four panels with seemingly identical paintings: A mass of people raising their fists and one hand making the “Peace” sign. “This symbolizes victory as well as it stands for the peace and freedom, which we all hope follows afterwards.” says CASE. The secret of this mural is that it – just like the revolution – extends into the Internet and uses it to further reveal its message. Ma’Claim did not want to make a political statement for one group or notion, but rather honor the power of a movement that has inspired the world.

GIF-Animation: Like the revolution the mural “uses” the Internet to reveal its message.

We also had a very interesting artist talk and a book release of “Arabic Graffiti” in Alexandria. The “We are all Khaled Said” movie was screened twice to deeply moved crowds -first at the Goethe Institute and later at the unveiling celebration of one of the murals. A concert by Revolution Recordz and the performance and local break dancers turned this into a nice block party.


On his first day in Egypt, Joel Sames, who documented the project from the beginning,
appeared on a popular Egyptian TV show. Together with Khaled’s Said’s mother Laila Marzouk and his sister Zahraa Kassem, they discussed the importance of this portrait on the Berlin Wall and the plans by Case to recreate it again in Egypt. Mother and sister are both still loud voices in Egypt’s unfinished revolution.

Just days before our arrival, the Military had clashed in Cairo with what had started as a peaceful demonstration of 10,000 Christian but also Muslim demonstrators. 28 died in front of the Egyptian State TV building in what is now known as the Maspero massacre. Mina Daniel, a famous activist was one of the victims.

Shortly after his death, Khaled Said’s mother visited Mina Daniel’s family. The meeting of the two mothers, one Muslim the other Christian was recounting one of the dreams of the revolution - the unity between the members of both faiths in Egypt.

The Ma’Claim crew painted another mural in Cairo after arriving from Alexandria and we gave an artist talk and held an Arabic Graffiti book release downtown at the Townhouse Gallery. CASE stayed in Cairo for his own personal mission.

After painting in front of the Ministry of Interior, and after a lot of thought he decided that a mere reproduction of his portrait of Khaled Said was not enough to convey the message he wanted to tell.

The mural he finally painted, in front of the Townhouse Gallery, is a portrait of an Egyptian boy whom Case met in the street while painting in Cairo. Behind him he placed simple, black stencils of Khaled Said and Mina Daniel. The boy is alive looking forward to the possibilities of a better future for which Khaled and Daniel died.

“The mural represents the hope we all have for the coming generations in Egypt.” CASE

Photo credits: Joel Sames
Special thanks goes to: Goethe Institute Alexandria, Daniel Stoevesandt, Dahlia Rafaat, Shalan Mariam; The Townhouse Gallery Cairo; Angie Balata, Goethe Institute Cairo & Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

See more pictures of the tour on Facebook.


11.-23. November – Frankfurt
“A soul for sale or rent”
Exhibition by Case, Andreas von Chrzanowski
Vernissage: 10. November, 7.30pm

02. December – Montreal
“Arab Winter” Exhibition opening
Sundus Abdul Hadi, Tamara Abdul Hadi, Sawsan Al Saraf, El Seed, Karim Jabbari, Yassin Al Salman (The Narcicyst)
Arabic Graffiti book release and book signing
“This is not a regular exhibit – you will leave Montreal and be transported to the streets of Tunis, Damascus, Iraq, and Cairo.” El Seed
7 pm
Under Pressure Fresh Paint Gallery
180 Saint-Catherine East; Montreal

03.-24. December – Montreal
“Arab Winter” Exhibition
Under Pressure Fresh Paint Gallery

Portrait of Khaled Said on the Berlin Wall

posted on 2011-09-23

"They broke down the Berlin Wall for freedom and unity. Kahled Said got killed for the same reason, for freedom and democracy. Khaled would be very happy if he was with us today. We will not forget you Khaled and we will bring your rights back. And we will bring every Egyptian's right back. We are all Khaled Said!" Zahraa Said Kassem

above:"Khaled's rights are Egypt's rights" written by Zahraa Kassem
below:"We are all Khaled Said", calligraphy by Mohamed Gaber painted by Case

On Monday, September 19th, Khaled Said was posthumously awarded the Human Rights Award 2011 together with Slim Amamou from Tunisia in Berlin. Zahraa Kassem, representing her slain brother Khaled Said received the award in his name.

Khaled Said, Egyptian Internet activist, rapper and blogger, was brutally beaten to death by two policemen on 6 June 2010 in Alexandria. His death triggered massive protests and the Facebook page “We are all Khaled Said” became one of the main catalysts of the revolution. Khaled Said, has become a symbolic figure and the face of the revolution in Egypt.

Zahraa Said Kassem

Khaled Said's portrait is immortalized in Egypt in countless graffiti, street ar mutrals and stencils in cities like Alexandria and Cairo. For Khaled Said's sister it was very important to do him that honor in Berlin as well. The famous German photo realist and graffiti artist Andreas von Chrzanowski aka Case painted two original pieces of the Berlin Wall and finished the artwork during the award ceremony.

Zahraa Said Kassem with Slim Amanou

Both pieces of the Berlin Wall originate from the area between the Brandenburger Tor and Potsdamer Platz and were transported to the venue. Each piece weighs 3,8 tons.
The deeply symbolic painting will later be prominently placed at the Freedom Park on the banks of the river Spree. In October this year, the portrait will be painted again by Case in Khaled Said's home town Alexandria, as part of a project with the Goethe Institute.

"We organized this project in three days and none of the thousands of things that could have gone wrong actually did. It is very rare in life that people and events come together like they did here." Don Karl

A photo and video documentation by Joel Sames about the painting process will follow soon.

This is a project by Don Karl, publisher and co-author of the book "Arabic Graffiti" & Hip Hop Stuetzpunkt Berlin - in collaboration with The Dudes Factory (Freedom Park) & Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation.

Joachim Gauck with Andreas von Chrzanowski aka Case

Photos download (Credits: Joel Sames / courtesy of From Here to Fame):

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