Associate Professor of Practice
Department of the Arts


Brief Biography

Bahia Shehab is associate professor of design and founder of the graphic design program at The American University in Cairo where she has developed a full design curriculum mainly focused on the visual culture of the Arab world. She has taught over fourteen courses on the topic. She frequently lectures internationally on Arab visual culture and design, design education and curriculum development, Islamic cultural heritage and her art practice. Her artwork has been on display in exhibitions, galleries, and streets internationally and has received a number of international recognition and awards. The documentary Nefertiti's Daughters featuring her street artwork during the Egyptian uprising was released in 2015. Her publications include "A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif." She is the first Arab woman to receive the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture

Courses Taught 

  • DGSN 2115     History of Graphic Design
  • DGSN 3115     History of Graphic Design in the Arab World
  • DSGN 3117     History of Advertising in the Arab World
  • DGSN 3118     History of Arabic Calligraphy

  • DGSN 2210     Typography I: Arabic Typography
  • DGSN 3220     Typography II: Latin & International Typography
  • DGSN 2201     Design I: Introduction to Design
  • DGSN 2202     Design II: Logo and Corporate Identity
  • DGSN 3204     Design IV: Packaging
  • DSGN 3205     Design V: Retail Design
  • DGSN 2245     Illustration
  • DSGN 3265     Advertising and Branding
  • DSGN 4269     Senior Project Thesis
  • DSGN 4270     Senior Project 


Shehab, Bahia, A Thousand Times No - Alif Lam-Alif: The Visual History of the Lam-Alif. Amsterdam: Khatt Books, 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 from 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 the borders of China. "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)

Selected Book Chapters

Selected Street Interventions

  •  “My People” – Mahmoud Darwish poem, Mural, permanent public display at the Doris Duke Shangri-La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture and Design, Honolulu-Hawaii, August, 2018
  •  “I will Dream” – Mahmoud Darwish poem, Mural, Institut des cultures d'Islam Paris-France, October, 2017
  • “How Big is the Idea” – Mahmoud Darwish poem, Mural, Stavanger-Norway, September, 2017
  •  “The Journey” – Mahmoud Darwish poem, Mural, Amsterdam-Netherlands, December, 2016
  •  “Those who have no land have no sea” – Mahmoud Darwish poem, Mural, Cephalonia - Greece, August 2016
  •  “On this Earth” – Mahmoud Darwish poem, Mural, HIGURE, Tokyo-Japan, May 2016
  •  “We Love Life if We Had Access to IT” – Mahmoud Darwish poem, Mural, École Supérieure des Arts Visuels Marrakech - Morocco, April 2016
  •  “No to the Impossible” – Mahmoud Darwish poem, Mural, Madison/Wisconsin-US, April 2016
  • “Imprisoned Butterfly” – Mahmoud Darwish poem, Street intervention, New York-US, March 2016
  •  “Stand at the Corner of a Dream and Fight” – Mahmoud Darwish poem, SStreet intervention Vancouver-Canada, February 2016

Selected Exhibitions

Awards and Fellowships

  • UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture – 2016
  • Prince Claus Award – 2016
  • TED Senior Fellow – 2016
  • Jameel Prize Shortlist – 2016
  • Distinguished Alumna – American University of Beirut – 2015
  • BBC 100 Women – 2013
  • TED fellow – 2012
Research Interest
  • Arabic Typography and Calligraphy
  • History of Arab Graphic Design and Visual Culture
  • Design Education and Curriculum Development
  • Arab Art and Politics
  • Arab and Islamic Cultural Heritage