Arab World English Journal (AWEJ).Volume.6 Number.1, March 2015                                               Pp.397-408

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Graffiti in Libya as Meaningful Literacy 

Hend M. Ghouma
English Department
Indiana University of Pennsylvania



Graffiti as a form of public behavior is a reflection of graffiti artists’ intentions, thinking, and surroundings. This study aims to analyze the graffiti portrayed in three areas in the capital city of Libya, Tripoli, in relation to the Libyan’s social and cultural context. The study attempts to answer three questions: (1) what are the main themes addressed in the graffiti collected? (2)What does the graffiti reflect in terms of the socio-cultural context of Libya? (3) What is the function of graffiti? And what are the implications of graffiti in second language literacy? The data consists of 79 pictures of graffiti. A quantitative content analysis was adopted as the research methodology. A coding system was developed to categorize the pictures of graffiti into different themes. Results of the study indicate that political issues comprise the largest number (around 64 percent of the graffiti), second are the social demands and issues (approximately 25 percent of the graffiti). The significance of the study lies in shedding light on the importance of graffiti as a representation of a new era in the history of the country and as a reflection of the socio-cultural context. The study also provides pedagogical implications of graffiti as a form of meaningful literacy and discusses how graffiti can be used in second language (L2) teaching and learning.
Keywords: Functions of graffiti, graffiti, Libya, pedagogical implications, socio-cultural context

Cite as: Ghouma, H. M. (2015). Graffiti in Libya as Meaningful Literacy. Arab World English Journal, 8 (1).


Hend M. Ghouma is currently a PhD candidate at the English Department, Indiana University of
Pennsylvania. She holds a Master’s Degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)
from University of Tripoli, Libya. Her areas of research interests include: disability identity and