Abu Dhabi doesn’t have a lot of public art, unless you count big billboards of Sheikh Zayed (the founder of the UAE).  And while I don’t know if there is a causal relationship here, there’s not much graffiti, either.  All those places in cities where your eye might see a scrawled tag, a political comment, a DeLaVega aphorism

…there’s none of that here, in English or Arabic. At the National Day celebration last year, there was a designated spot to write “graffiti” on a free-standing blank wall:

but the wall was surrounded by a safety rope: sanctioned graffiti, emblazoning only positive comments and drawings.

So you can imagine my surprise when I saw this wall:

Goin 2 introduce men of Liwa…

I don’t know who the men of Liwa are but seeing their scribbled felt oddly familiar, as if a tiny sliver of Manhattan had suddenly appeared on a wall in Abu Dhabi. Graffiti as a marker of home.