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For some years now, the streets of the Lebanese capital have witnessed drastic changes, and Beirutis have been seeing their city's urban fabric transformed.This daily scene inspired Lebanese architect, author and artist Raafat Majzoub, who himself is a Beirut resident."The Wishing Fountain," or "Mal Aam" (Public Money), is the name of Majzoub's first public art installation, which allows people of the city to share money with each other while raising awareness about the escalating street beggar phenomenon and the increasing self-centeredness in urban Lebanon today.The sculpture borrows its form from female street beggars sitting on sidewalks, wishing good fortune for passersby in return for minimal amounts of money.Coins accumulate in the fountain's basin, which is fed by a water supply.The artist recalled a group of Filipinas who stood in line, taking a couple of minutes each to make wishes and toss coins.Across the road on the opposite sidewalk, unaware that a new occupant was sharing the streets with her, sat a 25-year-old Syrian beggar who hesitatingly identified herself as Salma, resting, her three kids' sleepy heads on her lap. Majzoub has his plans for the fountain's reaps.
Collective photos document urban life
Handbags reminiscent of Beirut’s heritage
Altered chairs assume lives of their own
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