Spotted: Money “littering” the streets of Hamra


(Photo via Facebook.com)

A group of graphic design students at AUB have come up with a brilliant idea to spread awareness about Lebanon’s litter problem, and they’re doing it LL 10,000 at a time.

“Most awareness campaigns talk about not throwing trash on the ground, and it’s overdone. We thought we could talk about it from a different angle,” says Mohamed Olaymi, one of the co-creators behind the Metel Ma Sheltacampaign.

So what these students – with admittedly limited resources – have done is create incredibly convincing replicas of a folded up 10,000 Lebanese Lira with an anti-littering message on the backside and spread it around the Hamra neighborhood.

“We like the idea of a campaign that you have to touch and experience rather than just see on a billboard or wall, which most people end up ignoring,” says Olaymi, adding, “A guy saw me pick one up and he said, ‘No don’t pick it up, it’s a trap! I don’t know who’s doing it!’ And I just laughed.”

Mohamed says he and his friends dispersed 1,000 flyers around Hamra last Friday and they were all picked up. “Even if they don’t do anything about it, they’ve taken the time to pick up the flyer, reflect on it and think about our message.”

And as for critics who say the idea is only adding more trash to the ground, Mohamed says, “We’ve gone back and haven’t seen a single flyer on the ground. So people are either throwing it in the trash or keeping it with them… and the funny thing is, we have to go around and throw the money and we’ve had a few people stop us and say, ‘hey, you dropped your money!’”

“People are excited in Hamra. They think it’s raining money!”

The secret’s out. Now here’s how you can help out: anyone interested in making a donation to help the group print more flyers can head to the Metel Me Shelta Facebook page or send an email to Mohamed atm.olaymi@gmail.com

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