Ancient Typography from Damascus

After some excavations, I’ve found these beautiful typographical designs of the Safwat-el-Molk mausoleum’s dome, the mausoleum was removed and replaced by the Havana cafe building. It was built between 1110 and 1111 AD for the wife of the Seljuk ruler of Damascus.

Please enjoy looking at these superb and rare Damascene Seljuk Kufic samples.

Info and illustrations from: Ecochard, M. and Sauvaget, J. “Le Tombeau de Safwat al-Molk.” In Les Monuments Ayyoubides de Damas, 1-13. Paris: Editions Boccard, 1938.

 

 

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The dome before demolishing.

 

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم إن الله وملائكته

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الذين آمنوا صلوا عليه وسلمو تسليما صدق الله العـ

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الحمدلله على أفضاله —- على محمد وآله

 

 

 

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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!

 

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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ISIS Typography

Since the creation of ISIS in 2013, I witnessed as an Arab and Muslim citizen the bloody image of ISIS, and their strong media presence as well, and I observed the usage of type and calligraphy in their designs for social media and other outlets. In this post, I’ll show my findings* for ISIS designs and will comment on them.

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The official logo and flag of ISIS, which is the stamp of prophet Mohammad under the “Shahada” phrase that say: There is no god but Allah. The typographic style here is mimicking the stamp design in the 7th century, very basic, primitive and without any diacritic marks. ISIS used this design to declare their rights of “Khelafa” or caliphate. While in fact, the prophet Mohammad have not used his stamp as a war symbol, he used it as a personal stamp on messages to invite other rulers in the region to know about Islam. (We didn’t see the real stamp or its impression, the current known one is fake and was made by a Turkish artisan in the 19th century, the words’ order in the fake stamp above is wrong, Arabic words should stack over each other from top to down not the apposite)

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