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29Letters Blog مدونة ٢٩حرف

Contemporary Multilingual Arabic and Latin Fonts

Introductory Arabic Type Course at AUB

This spring, the elective course “Introduction to Arabic Type Design” at AUB [American University of Beirut] was introduced. It is given part of the Graphic Design program at AUB. Third and fourth year students who were interested in Arabic type and wanted to develop their skills in understanding and drawing Arabic letters, enrolled in the course. The course was an ongoing collaboration between the students and I. I had to evaluate what they could and needed to learn as opposed to what was too advanced for them.

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Culture In Defiance

The Censored. Why now? Graffiti in Beirut post Arab revolutions article and images are being displayed within the Culture In Defiance: Continuing Traditions of Satire, Art and the Struggle for Freedom in Syria. exhibition at the Prince Claus Fund Gallery from the 04th june till the 23rd november 2012.

Featured graffiti images shot in Beirut in May 2012.
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Censored. Why now? Graffiti in Beirut post Arab revolutions.

Since the publication of the Arabic Graffiti Book in 2011, which I co-edited with Don Karl, the scene and stance of graffiti in Beirut has changed drastically. With the development of the Arab Spring across the neighboring Arab nations such as in Syria and Egypt, Beirut has experienced a new Arab graffiti scene and a new censorship aspect that was not present in the previous years. Alongside Lebanese socio-political stencils and murals, Beirut is being bombarded with Syrian, Egyptian and as usual Palestinian political and revolutionary writings.


عذرا إن أزعجنا أحد، إننا في سوريا، نبني وطن
Sorry for disturbing anyone, We are in Syria, Building a Nation

Continue reading “Censored. Why now? Graffiti in Beirut post Arab revolutions.”

Shawati’ Magazine Corporate Type

An elegant contemporary Arabic and Latin type characterize the new corporate identity of Shawati’ Magazine, Abu Dhabi. The new design and layout of the magazine was complemented by the creation of a unique Arabic and Latin Display type.

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Type Workshop, AJWA’, Riyadh

Arabic Type Workshop with AJWA’ organization in Riyad for profesional graphic designers and calligraphers.
The event was organized by Fawaz Al Wzala.

The workshop focused on the type design process and technical aspects of generating Arabic fonts through lectures and start up drawings of prospective contemporary typefaces. Square Kufic patterns were also practiced.
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The Khatt Foundation Type Design Workshop

The Khatt Foundation Type Design Workshop
Hosted by Tashkeel & Pavilion Downtown Dubai, 21 – 25 October 2011

5 Days workshop, 3 Days Lecture Series by several renowned Arab designers.

Workshop leaders:
Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares, Lara Assouad Khoury, Pascal Zoghbi

Guest speakers: Wissam Shawkat, Sheikha Bin Dhaher, Salem Al Qassimi
1 Poster Exhibition (outcomes of workshop)

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I Love Corruption / Union of the Arab people / Graffiti Erased / Beirut


Stencil “I love corruption” by lebanese artist Ali & graffiti “Soon the Union of the Arab people” by Egyptian artist Ganzeer drawn on the evening of the 21st of September, in Hamra, Beirut.
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Droid Arabic Kufi & Naskh for Google™

Droid Arabic Naskh & Kufi Typefaces were designed in 2010 for use in Google™ products such as Google Chrome™ and Android™.


Sample mock-up for the fonts used within Android phones.

Designed to complement the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic provided in the Droid Type Family, the Arabic matches the color, alignment and design detail of the Latin allowing them to be used together for multi-lingual typesetting. Continue reading “Droid Arabic Kufi & Naskh for Google™”

Interview with Khatt – Love your letters, they are your babies!

Interview with Pascal Zoghbi by Huda AbiFares from the Khatt Foundation.
Part of the Multiple Baselines series.

Pascal Zoghbi is one of the young generation of Arab type designers. He has participated in two of the design research projects of the Khatt Foundation: ‘Typographic Matchmaking’ and ‘Typographic Matchmaking in the City’ respectively. This interview will focus on his Arabic type design—mainly work that was inspired by hand-made lettering, calligraphy and street art.

Read the interview on the Khatt Website >>

“Arabic Graffiti” Book

200 pages full color |Hardcover 28.5 x 21cm | 325 photographs & illustrations | English edition
Price: 34.95 $ | ISBN: 978-3-937946-26-9

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Typographic Matchmaking in the City / Symposium, Film screening & Book launch IN BEIRUT

Location: Beirut Art Center [BAC] Date: Monday, 11 April 2011 Time: 19:00 – 22:00
Free Entrance but registration is required.
RSVP to khatt.foundation@gmail.com


Illustration by Naji El Mir: the Hamsa Project by Erik van Blokland, Pascal Zoghbi & Joumana Al Jabri.

The Typographic Matchmaking in the City project is a design research project investigating new approaches for bilingual lettering and poetic narrative for public space. Continue reading “Typographic Matchmaking in the City / Symposium, Film screening & Book launch IN BEIRUT”

Nada Debs Arabic Kufi Type

This piece was created specially for “the future of tradition – the tradition of future” exhibition at hausderkunst in Munich. It challenges our perception of delicate islamic carpets. Following the trademark signature of Nada Debs, it combines elements of the Middle and Far East. Continue reading “Nada Debs Arabic Kufi Type”

Urban Arabic Graffiti within Political Arab Crisis

My talk Urban Arabic Graffiti within Political Arab Crisis at AtypI Dublin 2010 was a continuation of the lecture about Arabic graffiti in Lebanon that i gave at Notre Dame University part of the City Street Conference on the 18th of November 2009.


“فتح” “Fateh”, Gaza. Photo taken from the book “Gaza Graffiti” for Mia Gröndahl.

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Present Persian Language

During my last trip to Tehran, I was amazed by the amount of transliterated words from English and French, in the present Persian language.
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1st Printing Press in the Middle East

The Printing press of Saint Antonius in “Quzhayya” is the first printing press in the Middle East. It is located in a monastery in the Valley of the Saints in the mountains of the north Kaza of Lebanon. According to historians, a movable type printing press was imported from England to the Saint Antonius Monastery in 1585. The first publication was the book of “Mazameer” dated from 1610, and now present in the University of the Holy Ghost in Kaslik, Jouniyé, Lebanon.

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