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Egyptian Bahia Shehab First Arab Woman to Win UNESCO-Sharjah Culture Prize

March 30, 2017

The 14th edition of the UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture to be awarded to Egyptian – Lebanese Bahia Shehab for her innovative use of Arabic calligraphy in street art, making her the first woman from the Arab region to receive this award. Bahia’s project No, A Thousand Times No is a series of graffiti images centred on the one thousand ways of writing “no” in Arabic. Her artistic work in graffiti brings to the forefront issues pertaining to political and economic injustices, UNESCO stated, as well as personal issues and gender-based violations, reflecting her conviction that art is a tool for change that can provoke people to leave their comfort zone and engage in action for justice. The work of the artist, designer and art historian has been displayed in exhibitions, galleries and on the streets of cities in many parts of the world. The designs of the political campaigns “no to military rule” and “no to military trials for civilians” are all Shehab’s making. In 2010, Shehab was invited as an artist to participate in an exhibition commemorating 100 years of Islamic art in Europe using Arabic script for her…

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