Arabic calligraphy on the roads

Vernacular Arabic calligraphy in Lebanon is everywhere.
As signage for traditional Lebanese shops, on the walls, on trucks…

What is interesting about this truck is the hierarchy and layout of the type; alongside the company logo, there is the symbols of the Cedar tree and other vernacular Arabic writings. On the 1st level: The Logos of the company are on the sides. In the middle it is a two words saying that can be translated as “God Bless”. On the 2nd level: on the sides there is the road signs for “Pass from the left” and “Do not pass on the right”. In the middle there is two eyes looking at you. And on each side of the eyes there is an Arabic saying that can be translated as “keep the envy eye away”. On the 3rd level (the lower last section of the trunk, there is one word in the middle that can be translated as “the protected one” or “the beloved” or … you can also spot some words on the wheels section and the lights. There is also a very big Calligraphy on the front end of the trunk but it does not show in the pic, but seeing the truck moving on the road is just amazing. I saw this truck when I was going up to Shouf to give a typography course at the NDU Shouf Campus. I was driving behind it and trying as much as I can to take a photo of it without making an accident. Hehehe. I shot several pictures trying to also show the front end of the truck but it did not work out. The driver of the truck was going too fast and the road is full of curves. It is a typical crazy Lebanese Truck driver on Lebanese mountain roads. ;)

And here is another picture of calligraphy on a yellow truck.


i will post new pictures of trucks whenever i see a new one on the roads.

9 thoughts on “Arabic calligraphy on the roads

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  1. Dear Pascal, i was wondering what caught your eye about the trucks?what really fascinates you? im a photographer myself, and i have been photographing the trucks all over lebanon for three years, and to see that someone has the same interest is great. :)

  2. Hello Falak.
    Well i just love arabic vernacular calligraphy.
    Whenever I am driving on the roads, I frequently by driving before of after a truck. When i can back from Holland, i just started noticing all the beautiful vernacular stuff we have here in Lebanon that we take for granted and do not even notice it. You could never see such trucks in Europe. I wish I always have on me my professional camera. Unfortunately most of the pics are taken with my mobile cam. Would love to see you collection of photographs of the trucks.

  3. Hello Pascal,
    Can you please email me to, i would like to keep intouch with you via email, because this subject really interests me and i would like to hear more about your perspective on this certain calligraphy on trucks.

  4. Hi Pascal
    My wife and I are currently living in Beirut (you can checkout the blog to know more). We would like to learn arabic calligraphy. We already know arabic alphabet and are speaking some words of lebanese. Do you know were we could find workshops or weekly courses at Beirut ?
    Thanks for your help.

  5. Contact Mr. Ali Assi
    he is a professional Arabic calligrapher
    here is his mobile number

    03 44 61 56

    he gives weekly hour sessions
    and ask him if he is giving a course somewhere that you can subscribe to.

  6. Hi Pascal, It’s me again. Just a quick message to thank you for Mr. Ali Assi contact. We are now taking weekly courses with him at a friendly price, thanks to you !
    He is really a good and zen teacher.
    If you want to see some of our work, you can go to our blog.


  7. There are certainly a number of details like that to take into consideration. That could be a great point to deliver up. I provide the ideas above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions just like the one you carry up where a very powerful factor will probably be working in trustworthy good faith. I don?t know if finest practices have emerged round things like that, however I am positive that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Each girls and boys feel the impact of only a second’s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.

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