The Clowns of Tripoli

Taking the mission of making people smile seriously

We replaced sadness with colours and gloominess with music

If you walk around Tripolitan neighbourhoods and come across a bunch of clowns in colourful clothes with horns and music and balloons, you can rest assured that those are Happy Faces spreading joy as usual. Four young Tripolitans started thinking about this initiative in 2013 during the conflicts between Jabal Mohsen and Bab Al Tabbanah. When the areas were overridden by sadness and silence, they interfered, changed into colourful clothes and went walking on the streets with “chaos”, the kind of chaos you see in a circus – minus the animals. Imagine balloons and music and happiness one day after snipers ceased fire. Crazy! But they didn’t care, they just wanted hope to prevail again.

Chaos for all ages!

They rang bells, raised music volume, coloured the faces of kids and ran with them! Was that temporary happiness? They decided to do it again, and their chaos acquired more fans. People opened the doors of their houses, and women threw candy from the balconies for kids.

We forgot how to be happy…

Everyone’s morale was raised, and Happy Faces became the source of joy on the streets, wanted by young and old, especially the latters who had forgotten what it was to be happy and positive and feel alive.

An initiative like this fills us with hope

If we look deeper, this group that roams the streets to spread happiness is an individual initiative aimed at promoting coexistence and resilience, changing the perspective and prejudice of the citizens and reducing hatred and stressful living. The young have suffered, and the old have forgotten how to make them happy again, so Happy Faces was born to make sure everyone gets a second chance at smiling, and Tripoli gets a second chance at living.