Egyptian cities and villages abound with an enormous wealth of khatt, or calligraphic script, ranging from casual scrawls and scribbles to elaborately-painted colourful murals. These historical and contemporary versions of urban lettering, varying in surface, medium and technique, adorn mosques, shop-fronts, houses, trucks, boats, schools, tuk tuks and walls. They are records of human existence, documenting expressions of hope, fears, dreams and anxieties.
Featuring beautiful, unique examples of these written expressions, Khatt is an extensive visual documentation of the found typography and calligraphy in Egypt, a calligraphy hub that possesses a rich tradition of education and production in the field. This timely volume records the traditional craftsmanship of hand-painted calligraphy, in decline because of the digitisation of the Arabic script.
Basma Hamdy is a research-based designer, author and educator. Currently Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, Hamdy earned an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her publications include Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution.
Noha Zayed is a photographer currently based in Cairo, Egypt. Zayed has exhibited in festivals across the Middle East. Her other creative endeavors include film and music projects such as a documentary on travel and education aired on Al Jazeera in 2017.