Secret harmony in Islamic manuscripts

This is a big research that I’m working on, I’m so thrilled to dig more to reveal more and more stories from our own history. Here I’m sharing a piece that amused me, it’s a spread from Ibn al-Nafis book: Compendium of the Canon of Medicine which he wrote around 1240 CE – 1288 CE, I added some guiding graphics to emphasis my findings.

Enjoy looking!

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A 27 years of waiting..

As I’m always saying; my first design instructor was Mohie El Deen El Labbad, the late artist, designer and cartoonist–or as he used to describe himself: A bookmaker!

I started reading Labbad articles in Majed magazine, at the age of 8 and 9, he had a weekly article about art, design thinking, graphic design, art critique, visual understanding, culture and identity re-forming, all for children readers, of course, he was the pioneer, and sadly saying; I’m not sure if there is anyone still doing this at the present time.

He launched several series, each having one title and one theme, in this article from 1988, he wrote under the title “The Beautiful Books’ Closet – خزانة الكتب الجميلة” a review on something he admired a lot; the Arab Arts. The catalog was published by The Freer Gallery of Art, at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museums in Washington, 1975.

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Theeb film, Arabic calligraphy in the OSCARS

At one evening in October 2013, I sat down with the Jordanian director Naji Abu Nowar to discuss the collaboration between me and him to design the Arabic main title and credits for his new feature film Theeb, I was more than excited to take the job, it was a great honor for me to work with such a brilliant director like Naji, for a great shining opportunity in the Arab film industry.

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My initial quick sketches with Naji, discussing styles and calligraphy approach.

We agreed to adapt the Nastaliq calligraphic style, that relates to the Ottoman official signage system that was popular in our region in 1916, where the film’s events are happening in. Continue reading →

Islamic Seals Design

I was impressed with this amazing collection of Islamic seals on different manuscripts from various Islamic cultures and ages, this database was collected by Chester Beatty Library in Dublin from their own fine archive of manuscripts, more than 2600 seal impressions were found and documented!

Yes, 2600!

I’ve picked some of them to share with you, copy rights are reserved to Chester Beatty Library:

 

My next little project is to make one seal for my name inspired by these designs.. stay tuned!

 

Meeting Helmi El Touni

Yes! I finally met Helmi El Touni! A great master that filled my childhood with bold drawings and unique calligraphic styles.. I met him during Nuqat 2015 conference in Kuwait,  it was one of best things happened to me in my entire life!

I can’t hide my happiness! He also signed the Yasmin Taan book about him, and he wrote there: To dear Hussein, the precious colleague 🙂 

Unbelievable moment!

Another great thing besides all of this, was El Touni exhibition, where he showed the original artworks and sketches of his old works, seeing those masterpieces face to face was a great honor for me.

El Touni is a special character, his thoughts and works will be always inspiring me.

 

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Visit to Tareq Rajab Museum

While I was in Kuwait last time, I couldn’t resist visiting Tareq Rajab Museum, I was truly SHOCKED! A massive amount of Islamic pieces from all around the world! I haven’t see such collection at any other museum!

I took couple hundred of photos there, here I selected some to share with you:

1- Calligraphy collection from Syria 

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