By Mohamed H. Zakaria, Jeddah published 27 Oct 2006 (Friday 04 Shawal 1427H)

Graffiti Rules

Graffiti has come to rule the walls of even the Kingdom. In Pakistan, it is one of the most powerful means of information dissemination and individuals as well as organizations have staked their claim to the walls simply because they are absolutely free and the law of the land doesn’t forbid people from destroying others’ property. It is very difficult to judge how much impact such ugly commercials or announcements make on people’s hearts and minds. However, it works. Everything from advertisements for drugs, personal threats and announcements at political rallies find their way to the walls.

Walls of most Jeddah buildings are full of announcements. You can find there declarations about the struggle for Palestinian independence, information on the war in Chechnya, coded anonymous messages from person to person and everything else. The wall-writing industry has put in roots here and is flourishing. Some elegant and beautiful landmark buildings on Madinah Road and on Tahlia Street are the latest victims of this dirty practice. It is high time that the city municipality checked and stopped this vandalism. A law should be enforced immediately to prosecute anyone found defacing walls and to force them to compensate the building owner.