January 2006 PRESS RELEASE
Diwan, Platinum sponsor of the AUD/Linotype Kitabat, Arabic Calligraphy and Typography Conference, at the American University in Dubai
Dubai 27 September 2005
The Visual Communication Department at the American University in Dubai, in partnership with Linotype Library GmbH and Stichting Khatt (Center for Arabic Typography, Amsterdam), and in collaboration with the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) will be hosting Kitabat, the first major Arabic Calligraphy and Typography conference in the region, between the 5th and 8th of April, 2006.
Diwan Software has, for its 22 year history, always been at the forefront of Arabic typography and calligraphy on computers. It is now pleased to be a platinum sponsor of the first conference on Arabic typography to be held in the Middle East.
"This conference is significant because it will bring together, for the first time, some of the highest experts on typography from the West and the Middle East. I expect the meeting of the two cultures will create some exciting new innovations in both Europe and the Middle East", says Adil Allawi, Technical Director of Diwan Software Limited.
"The aim of this conference is to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western cultures, and lead to a two-way cultural exchange. It also seeks to enhance the dialogue between calligraphy and typography' says Prof. Huda Smitshuijzen-AbiFares, the Chair of the Visual Communication Department at the American University in Dubai. 'There has been an increase in international interest in Arabic typography and hence the necessity of holding such a conference. During the Vancouver conference of the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) in September 2003, a whole afternoon forum was dedicated to Arabic typography with a number of speakers from different educational institutions and with various design specializations. International publications are racing to print articles about Arabic typography and even online forums and email lists are continuously getting into Arabic related topics. However, there is a lack of knowledge among many Arabic typographers about what is possible for the Arabic script in the new generation of digital text technologies, and a lack of dialogue between typographers and calligraphers. The conference aims to portray to the international eye, the beauty and grace of the Arabic culture as manifested in its calligraphic art, and to map a future for the Arabic script that is fully engaged with both the latest technologies and knowledge of its rich past" says Smitshuijzen-AbiFares
The main topics of Kitabat are history of Arabic calligraphy and printing, Arabic type design and technology, and Arabic typography and design. There will also be workshops and panels on Arabic calligraphy, type design, type technology, and type education. The keynote speaker is Dr Nabil F. Safwat, author of "The Art of the Pen" and the title of the keynote is Word as Insight: Visual Understanding In The Contemporary Culture. Confirmed speakers include Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares (AUD & Stichting Khatt), Nadine Chahine (Linotype Library, Germany), John Hudson (Tiro Typeworks, Canada), Gerry Leonidas (University of Reading, UK), Thomas Milo (DecoType, Amsterdam), Dr Fiona Ross (Ross Type & University of Reading, UK), and Bruno Steinert (Linotype Library, Germany).
Diwan plans to show at the conference its calligraphic typefaces and its work on Quranic typography. Its Mishafi typeface won a prestigious award from the Type Directors Club in New York and its Quranic typefaces are now in use by Waseela to provide electronic Qurans to the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia. Diwan also has made typefaces for Thulth, Ruq'a, Farisi and is working on the Diwani style.
"Nestled between Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City, the two centers for design, media and technology in the region, the American University in Dubai is the perfect venue for this event. The Visual Communication Department at AUD has also established itself as one of the leading centers in the region for typography, design, advertising and photography. Dubai, home to a large number of skilled calligraphers and thriving design agencies, provides a perfect infrastructure for holding such an event as it has become a hub of fast growing businesses, communication and technology" says Prof. Smitshuijzen-AbiFares
Diwan Software Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7 25 25 333
Fax: +44 (0)20 7 25 25 444