Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In
Bahia Shehab
Bahia Shehab is associate professor of practice of art at The American University in Cairo. She has developed and launched the new graphic design program for the Department of the Arts with courses mainly focused on the visual culture of the Arab world. She is currently a PhD candidate at Leiden University in Holland. Her research is on Fatimid Kufic inscriptions on portable items in the Mediterranean basin and beyond. It is concerned with form versus content and the extent to which the medium dictated the message.

Her MA thesis entitled "Floriated Kufic on the Monuments of Fatimid Cairo" received the Nadia Niazi Thesis Award at AUC in 2009.

Bahia Shehab is also executive creative director with Mi7-Cairo working on projects relevant to cultural heritage.

Her artwork has been on display in galleries worldwide including China, Germany, Italy, Lebanon and the UAE. Her book A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif was published in 2010. She is a 2012 TED Global Fellow.


Public Lectures 

  • American University in Cairo, East-West: The Art Dialogue, addressing the Shafik Gabr Foundation Fellows, “Urban Dialogues”, Cairo-Egypt, June 2013
  • American University in Beirut, Bathish Auditorium-West Hall, Revolution Evolution, “In Archeological Pursuit of a Typeface”, Beirut-Lebanon, April 2013
  • Akademie der Künste, Reclaiming the Public Space, Keynote Address “Full Circle”, Berlin-Germany, April 2013

  • American University in Cairo, Qahwa & Kalam, “51 Children of Assiut”, Cairo-Egypt, March 2013
  • University of Michigan, School of Information, Social Justice Series, “Practicing Art in Revolutionary Times”, Ann Arbor-USA via videoconference, February 2013
  • Akademie der Künste, Rethinking Cosmopolitanism, “Practicing Art in Revolutionary Times”, Berlin-Germany, February 2013

  • Cairo American Collage, Egypt 20/20, “Beware of Speed Bumps”, Cairo-Egypt, January 2013

  • Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo, Cleveringa Conference: The Development of the Image of Children in Children's Literature, "Little Feminists: The Granddaughters of Scheherazade", Cairo-Egypt, November 2012

  • International Christian University, Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Forum: The Art of Peace-building and Reconciliation , “Spraying No”, Tokyo-Japan, October 2012

  • Cornell University, Institute for Comparative Modernities annual conference, Global Anarchism:No Gods, No Masters, No Peripheries . “Artist Work: Cairo Street Graffiti”, Ithaca(NY)-USA, September 2012

  • TEDGlobal 2012: Radical Openness - "A Thousand Times No", Edinburgh-Scotland, June 2012 

  • American University in Cairo - “ In Archeological Pursuit of a Typeface”, Cairo-Egypt, December 2011

  • Aspen Creative Arts World Summit - “Artist’s Work and the Revolution”, Muscat-Oman, November 2011

  • Fourth International Symposium on History of Printing and Publishing in the Languages and Countries of the Middle East – “ The Story of a Letter”, Alexandria- Egypt, September 2011
  • Leiden International Students’ Symposium on Democracy – “ Egypt : A State of Democratic Infancy”, Leiden-Holland via videoconference, June 2011

  •  American University in Cairo - "Arabic Typography & Globalization", Egypt, 2010

Chouf Municipality Library – "Epigraphic Evidence on 16th-18th Century Druze Tombstones in Baakline" Lebanon, 2010

  • American University in Cairo - "Monumental Epigraphy on Fatimid Buildings in Cairo", Egypt, 2009

  • San Francisco Art institute - "The Platypus" - Lecture on Arabic Calligraphy & Typography, San Fransisco-USA via videoconference, 2008


“GD 99: They Called Us the Harem.” In Revolution/Evolution :Two Decades and Four Hundred Designers Later, 2013, edited by Nour Kanafani, Beirut-Lebanon, American University of Beirut Press.

"Voices From the Region: Take Me to the Country of the Beloved." In Geography: Realms, Regions and Concepts, 2012, authors H.J. de Blij, Peter O. Muller, Jan Nijman , 317. USA: John Wiley & Sons.
"A Thousand Times No" - "Alif Lam-Alif" The Visual History of the Lam-Alif", Khatt Books (Amsterdam, 2011) The book is a research-based tribute to the wealth, diversity and freedom of expression in art from Islamic lands. It is a rejection of conformity and repression that often plagues the Arab and Islamic cultures. It traces chronologically the history of one letter form the Lam-alif (which also means NO in Arabic) on different items produced under Arab and Islamic patronage over a period of 1400 years from countries that span from Spain to India. 

"A Thousand Times No" is a bi-lingual book written, illustrated and designed by Bahia Shehab in conjunction with an installation by the artist under the same title at "The Tradition of Future 100 years after the exhibition ‘Masterpieces of Mohammadan Art'" (Munich-Germany, September 2010-February 2011)