Bahia Shehab: A thousand times no

 


 
Filmed June 2012
Subtitles available in 36 languages

Art historian Bahia Shehab has long been fascinated with the Arabic script for ‘no.’ When revolution swept through Egypt in 2011, she began spraying the image in the streets saying no to dictators, no to military rule and no to violence.

Interactive transcriptInteractive transcript

3723b538f9d86a88e9e5636d982ac6176622c879_254x191TED Fellow Bahia Shehab sends an important message through her street art in Cairo: “You can crush the flowers, but you can’t delay spring.”

Why you should listen

A Lebanese-Egyptian artist, designer and art historian, Bahia Shehab studies ancient Arabic script and applies it to modern-day issues. She is the Creative Director with MI7-Cairo, working on projects relevant to cultural heritage. Shehab is also an associate professor at the American University in Cairo, where she has developed a four-year Graphic Design program focusing on the discipline in the Arab world. In addition, Shehab is a TED Fellow and a PhD candidate at Leiden University in Holland.
Shehab notably created a De Beers campaign, which won an International Advertising Association gold award. Her installation A Thousand Times No was displayed at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany, and was published as a book by The Khatt Foundation.
But most recently, Shehab has taken her art to the streets of Cairo, stenciling images in support of her country’s revolution.