Bahia Shehab is a professor of practice in design and founder of the graphic design program at The American University in Cairo, where she developed a full design curriculum mainly focused on the visual culture of the Arab world. She has taught over 16 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 several international recognition and awards. She is the first Arab woman to receive the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture. The documentary Nefertiti's Daughters featuring her street artwork during the Egyptian uprising was released in 2015. She is the founding director of TypeLab@AUC. Her latest publications include You Can Crush the Flowers: A Visual Memoir of the Egyptian Revolution and the award winning co-authored book A History of Arab Graphic Design.
Shehab, Bahia, You Can Crush the Flowers: A Visual Memoir of the Egyptian Revolution, London: Gingko, 2021
Shehab, Bahia, "At the Corner of a Dream." London: Gingko, 2019.
Nawar, H., Shehab, B., “A History of Arab Graphic Design,” Cairo-New York American University in Cairo Press, Egypt, 2020.
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 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
- Shehab, Bahia, “A Thousand Times No!: Spray Painting as Resistance and the Visual History of the Lam-Alif,” in Contemporary Revolutions: Turning Back to the Future in 21st-Century Literature and Art, Bloomsbury Academic, 2018
- Volker Albus, Adélia Borges, Axel Kufus, Tapiwa Matsinde, Divia Patel, Bahia Shehab, Eggarat Wongcharit, Zhang Jie, “Up-Cycling the Future,” Pure Gold: Upcycled! Upgraded!, Leipzig: Spector Books, 2017
- O’Kane, Bernard & Shehab, Bahia, “The Epigraphy of the Mausoleum of Yahya al-Shabihi,” in Art, Trade, and Culture in the Islamic World and Beyond: From the Fatimids to the Mughals, Ed. Alison Ohta, Michael Rogers, and Rosalind Wade Haddon, Gingiko Press, 2016, pp. 48-55
- Shehab, Bahia, “The Granddaughters of Scheherazade,” in Companion to International Children’s Literature, Eds. Dr. John Stephens, Dr. Celia Abicalil Belmiro, Dr. Alice Curry, Dr. Li Lifang. Dr.Yasmine S. Motawy, Routledge, 2016.
- Shehab, Bahia, “Emotional Translation,” in Translating Dissent: Voices from and with the Egyptian Revolution, Ed. Mona Baker, NY: Routledge, 2016, pp. 163-177.
- Shehab, Bahia, “A Thousand Times No,” in No Gods, No Masters, No Peripheries: Global Anarchisms, Barry Maxwell & Raymond Craib eds., Michigan: PM Press, 2015, pp.233-241.
- Shehab, Bahia, “Landscape/Soundscape: 20 Minarets from the Arab World”, in World Architecture.
- Shehab, Bahia, “Spraying NO,” Walls of Freedom, Ed. Basma Hamdy & Don Karl, Malta: From Here to Fame, 2014, pp. 117-119.
- Shehab, Bahia, “Urban Dialogues,” in Positions - Arabich Worlt, Eds. Johannes Ebert et el, Göttingen: Steidl-Verlag, 2013, pp. 274-278.
- Shehab, Bahia, “Faṭimid Kūfī Epigraphy on the Gates of Cairo: Between Royal Patronage and Civil Utility,” in Calligraphy and Architecture in the Muslim World, Eds. Mohammad Gharipour & Irvin Cemil Schick. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013, pp. 275-289.
Selected Street Interventions
- "All the hearts of the people are my identity - release me of my passport" -Mahmoud Darwish poem, Mural, famous, Antwerp-Belgium, November 2019.
- "We Will Not Repent"-Mahmoud Darwish poem, Mural, University of Lincoln, UK, August 2019.
- “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, FIGURE, 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, street intervention Vancouver-Canada, February 2016
- "What Would You Die For?”, 28 minute 56-screen video installation. Northwestern University, Doha - Qatar, 24 August 2021 - 30 April 2022.
- At the Corner of a Dream, Solo Show, Aga Khan Centre, London-UK, 27 September 2019 – 5 January 2020
- “Reflections on Shangri La,” Women of Shangri-La 18 150x50 cm wall panels, Mythical Creatures two 70x70 cm tessellations mirrors and Swimming Fish one animation, Honolulu Museum of Art, September 2018
- “The Sound of Light and Hope” Video + 12 photographs, Shared Vision, The Old Truman Brewery, London-UK, September 28 -October 7, 2018
- “The Chronicles of Flowers” plexiglass screens, video and audio projections, and an artist book documenting 77 flowers, Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul-Turkey, May 2017
- “12.2.2011” newspaper installation + “Adhan” Sound installation + slide projection + wall painting, E-WERK, Freiburg-Germany, May-June 2015
- “Landscape/Soundscape: 20 Minarets from the Arab World” – sound installation + wall painting, 22wx3h m, Arab Contemporary, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, ARAB CONTEMPORARY, Humlebæk, Denmark, January-May 2014
- “Quran Lectern of Judge Zaineddine Yahya, Majordomo of Sultan Jaqmaq,” installation of original 14th Century Islamic artifact + video, Arab Contemporary, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, ARAB CONTEMPORARY, Humlebæk, Denmark, January-May 2014
- “Story of a Wall in Cairo,” Slide show, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Global aCtIVISm, Karlsruhe, Germany, December 2013-March 2014
- “A Thousand Times No,” Future of Tradition – Tradition of Future, Munich-Germany, 2010
- DSGN 2240. Color
- 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 3270 Designing for Eternity
- DSGN 4269 Senior Project Thesis
- DSGN 4270 Senior Project
- Tällberg / Eliasson Global Leadership Prize Nominee 2020
- Bellagio Residency 2019
- Skoll fellowship 2019
- Speaker at the Obama Foundation Summit – 2017
- 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
- 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
PhD, Modern Arab Art, Leiden University, The Netherlands (2019)
MA, Islamic Art & Architecture, American University in Cairo, Egypt (2009)
BGD, Graphic Design, American University of Beirut, Lebanon (1999)