Israeli architecture student Raz Sror, 24, was looking for a project to fulfill a homework assignment.
After reading about a building in Ramat Gan that was damaged by rocket fire during the recent escalation of violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, he set out to repair the holes — with Lego bricks.
“I had an idea for a cute initiative for the children of the building and the area who see all the holes and damages in the perimeter of the building,” he wrote on Facebook. “We can fill them in with Lego and bring a smile to the faces of everyone who passes by.”
Sror, who is studying at the Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art, told Channel 12 news that he bought and received Lego bricks from friends to complete the homework assignment, which was titled “The Imperfection of the Whole.”
“I wanted to create a contrast between the destruction to the building with something that is so completely unrelated,” he said. “But that it will make people smile and that won’t be something that will go unnoticed.”
Last month, Sror issued a call for people to join him in undertaking the project in the Facebook group “Young People of Givatayim and Ramat Gan.”
While nobody joined him in the work, he said many people came by with messages of support and encouragement. It took him several days to fill in the gaps in the building’s facade with Lego bricks and glue.
“This was one of the most fulfilling days I’ve had in my life,” he wrote on Facebook after his first day on the job. “Thank you to all of the community who came and gave endless compliments.”
Sror told The Times of Israel that he didn’t hear anything from the Ramat Gan Municipality about his initiative. But if any other cities that were damaged by rocket fire are interested, he said he would be glad to expand the project. “Wherever they call me from, I’ll be there,” he told ToI.
While most community members praised the initiative, there were some who were less than pleased by Sror’s project.
One woman said she would prefer to have the walls repaired with the same material they were built with, “so we don’t have to be reminded of terror every day.” Sror replied that the Lego was only temporary, and could be removed in the future to make way for a more permanent repair.
Sror told the Archijob site that he came across a Facebook post from people in the neighborhood discussing the rocket damage “as extreme trauma to the residents, children and passersby at the intersection,” he said, which inspired him to undertake the project.
“I just wanted to make people smile, and to [cause people to] photograph the wall instead of photographing the damaged building that was hit by rocket shrapnel,” Sror said.
Rockets from Gaza during Operation Guardian of the Walls, which lasted for 11 days in May, caused damage to dozens of buildings and structures across Israel and killed 12 civilians. During the fighting, terror groups fired more than 4,300 rockets and mortar shells at Israel and the IDF launched some 1,500 retaliatory strikes on Hamas targets in the Strip.
Since a ceasefire was declared on May 21, the Egyptian military has led an effort to negotiate a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, including a prisoner exchange.