[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]Due to an unexpected series of events, I was fortunate enough to be able to sample not one, but two of Nuqat’s workshops this year. The first of these was Yara Khoury’s ‘Bilingual Magazine Design: Like, Comment, Share’, which took place in Al Makan. The concept of the workshop was to transform the fast information we receive through social media sites into a tangible bilingual magazine. This involved copying comments, articles and quizzes from social media sites and piecing them together under a chosen theme.

After a short introduction by Khoury on the goal of the workshop, the attendees began the research stage of the workshop, which was to collect social media fragments in English and Arabic for the publication. This was then followed by the conceptualization stage, which involved deciding on the theme of the magazine, picking its name and creating a flat plan. The days that followed this were then allocated for the actual execution of the magazine and printing it out.

A lack of technical expertise meant that I was unable to complete this workshop; however this did give me an opportunity to also attend Tarek Atrissi and Suzzane Tahlouk’s ‘Type Design and Expression: Celebrating the Arabic Language through Expression’. This workshop not only explored the various techniques that can be used in Arabic type designs; but also addressed the ways in which one can campaign for the preservation of the Arabic language.

Throughout the workshop, the attendees were split into groups and asked to brainstorm different campaigning strategies that could possibly be implemented on the ground. Posters, videos and Instagram pages were some of the options that were suggested.My particular group, for instance, decided on an emotive poster depicting Arabic letters emerging from a garbage can; as well as a short video exploring the diversity of Arab accents. In order to put together the video, short clips were taken of men and women speaking in their own Arab accent in Sadu House, where the workshop took place. During the final day of the workshop, each group was then asked to present the work they had managed to execute over these few

Although the two workshops differed greatly in their content, they both showed a concern with engaging dynamically with the Arabic language – a concern that was evident throughout Nuqat’s event this year. Moreover, both workshops were keen on having the attendees produce something tangible and constructive which was also impressive especially in the short time span available.

– Alwia Al-Hassan[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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