On October 20 and 21, the
department of Architecture and Design at the
Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA) at the American University of Beirut hosted its first conference on Arabic type and typography,
Mashq 2022, organized by the Arabic Type Unit. It was a landmark event which brought together professionals, scholars, and students from Lebanon and beyond to explore historical developments, research studies, technology updates, and emerging trends in the field of Arabic typography, type design, lettering, and regional visual communication in particular.
The event coincided with the 30 year anniversary of the graphic design program at the university. The American University of Beirut was the first higher education institution in the Arab world to provide a program dedicated to graphic design, and it was also the first to incorporate the graphic application of the Arabic script into its core curriculum.
The Mashq 2022 conference gathered 400+ attendees and hosted 15 renowned speakers from 7 countries including the UAE, Egypt, Germany, Turkey, Spain, and the Netherlands. Among the invited speakers are a list of long-standing designers, practitioners, researchers, and educators in regional graphic design.
“What I could feel in my presence was pure greatness," commented designer Emile Minhem, one of the speakers at the Mashq 2022 conference, in regards to the event. “It is my duty in this dark and painful time for many to say thank you to the American University of Beirut that embraces you and allows your dreams to open up and become a reality."
Dr. Bahia Shehab, co-writer of the first book on the history of Arab Graphic design, and speaker at the conference said, “Mashq 2022 was emotional, heartwarming, and a milestone for more collaboration in the region."
Mashq 2022 also featured two major exhibitions that are open for the public till November 15, 2022: the exhibition of the
100 best Arabic posters competition (round 3), and the exhibition of the
Granshan Type Design Competition winners in the Arabic type category, years 2019 till 2022. It also hosted book signing for the Khatt Books series on display during the event. In addition, students attending the conference participated in workshops on Arabic/Latin logo matchmaking with designer Azza Alameddine from London, and an introduction to
Glyphs, a leading type design software, with founder Georg Seifert.