This spray painted wall says a lot about what many Lebanese think of the poster/billboard war that is taking over this country’s streets. For those unaware, “Haifa” is Lebanon’s most celebrated sex symbol. She’s a sort of a local Brittney Spears, only older. The wall actually faces a mosque in the Ain Mrese neighborhood, which is better known for posters championing the Amal party of Parliament speaker, Nabih Berri.
Many Lebanese are fed up with the political struggle that has seen this city’s streets turned into a visual battlefield. Almost everywhere you look, giant apartment buildings are covered with the faces of pro-American politicians or those allied with Syria and Iran. While working on a recent piece for CBC Radio, I spoke to dozens of pedestrians across the capital and in south Lebanon with another reporter. We found that most people were utterly disgusted by the campaigns. Several said they should be replaced with pop stars or the lingerie models that are already ubiquitous in parts of the city.