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AUB Neighborhood Initiative brings “kindness” closer
6/23/2017
Safa Jafari Safa  |  Office of Communications  |  media@aub.edu.lb  | 

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“Take only what you need and give away what you don’t need,” is the principle of the Wall of Kindness set up on Abdel Aziz Street and facilitated by the AUB Neighborhood Initiative. 

The Wall of Kindness is a charity and welfare initiative that started in 2015 in Tehran and has been spreading since then through India, UAE, China, Pakistan, and Kuwait.  The idea entails attaching cloth hangers on street walls to encourage people to hang miscellaneous useful items they wish to donate and pick up what they need. 

On June 9, an anonymous group of philanthropists, many of whom are AUB alumni, started this initiative on Damascus Street in Sodeco, Beirut. 

The Neighborhood Initiative at AUB collaborated with the Wall of Kindness team to bring this initiative closer to home, to the diverse and vibrant neighborhood of Ras Beirut. With support from the AUB administration, an application was submitted to Beirut Governor Ziad Shbeib for a permit.  Soon after, the second Wall of Kindness in the city was set up on one of the AUB property walls on Abdel Aziz Street.

The wall is comprised of some hooks and a narrow shelf placed to present clothing and toys left for donation. Written on the wall is a message: Let’s give and take.

“This fits perfectly within the vision of the Neighborhood Initiative and AUB to be an active part of the wellbeing of the neighborhood,” Director of the Neighborhood Initiative Mona Hallak told us. 

A group of people in Tripoli started their own Wall of Kindness as did another group in Karakas, Beirut. 

“Kindness is contagious. This shows that people are ready for community service projects but they need someone to initiate, facilitate, connect, and encourage the process,” said Hallak. “I hope that this is only the beginning of many upcoming projects that will bring kindness to the people and the neighborhood, and will engage the AUB students, faculty, and staff in participatory projects for the mutual benefit of AUB and Ras Beirut.”

The Wall of Kindness fosters a sense of community, interaction, neighborliness, sharing, and respect. As you walk up Abdul Aziz Street, you notice people stop by the wall and smile as they try on something “new” – people from various walks of life; builders and painters, shoe shiners, street sellers, and more. They look around, they are not sure whom to thank, and they walk away with a new piece or two, knowing that someone is watching out for them and that they too can watch out for someone someday.


The word is spreading and the Twitter account for this initiative has reached 1K. Many people and institutions have started to donate full bags and boxes with clothes, shoes, and toys, many of which are new.

The Neighborhood Initiative remains one of AUB’s main channels of giving back to its neighborhood. It is currently working on several community projects, in collaboration with other units in and out of AUB, and it continues to mobilize the university’s resources for the public good, beginning with the community just outside the University campus. 

Story Highlights
  • ​​​“Take only what you need and give away what you don’t need,” is the principle of the Wall of Kindness set up on Abdel Aziz Street and facilitated by the AUB Neighborhood Initiative. 
  • The Wall of Kindness is a charity and welfare initiative that started in 2015 in Tehran and has been spreading since then through India, UAE, China, Pakistan, and Kuwait.  The idea entails attaching cloth hangers on street walls to encourage people to hang miscellaneous useful items they wish to donate and pick up what they need. 
 
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