BEIRUT: A Beirut-based graphic designer has reimagined World Cup flags to remind Lebanese citizens to rally behind the shortfall in public services with a passion similar to that shown for the world's football teams.
“In this whole chaos it is important to acknowledge our problems, just so we remain conscious of them. You can enjoy your time and watch the games, but it’s important not to forget other things that are important,” Rawad Hajj told the Daily Star.
The modified flags being shared on social media websites with the hashtag #CheerResponsibly showed Germany’s ensign as a battery depleted by the lack of electricity, while Argentina’s glowing sun was turned in to a single golden coin under the caption, “There is no money.”
The Brazilian flag displayed a plummeting water drop to highlight the natural resource management issues and the French flag was cleverly contorted in to a pill capsule in reference to the country's medication costs.
The 26-year-old graphic designer said that he did not believe the Lebanese had totally forgotten about problems such as the poor mismanagement of electricity and water, but thought it was absurd that “Lebanese are willing to run down to the streets for a Brazil game, but not for anything more important.”
Hajj said his work was inspired by daily life, adding that his designs had only taken a political twist recently due to events in the country.
“I think it’s my obligation as someone who is visual to use this medium to effect a change, even if it’s by an insignificant 1 percent” said Hajj.
In his reinterpretation of the distinctive World Cup-themed Almaza beer bottles, the outside is covered in Army camouflage print instead of national flags under the caption, “Here is to the real heroes.”
“This one was inspired by the bombing in the Duroy hotel two weeks ago ... I thought to myself that these [the security forces who intercepted the bombers] are the heroes we need to cheer for,” said Hajj