Wednesday, 12 July 2017

alif, alef or mater lectionis

An Israel typeface designer and professor created a new script that combines elements of the writing systems for the country’s two official language, Hebrew and Arabic, into a mutual intelligible characters.
Her motivations for creating this hybrid abjad were not exclusive political (coming just weeks after the Knesset proposed removing Arabic’s status) the but also social and personal, describing how in bi-lingual or tri-lingual signage, she saw the Arab calligraphy as decorative and not something to be heeded on the same level as Hebrew or English. I am sure that is a common enough experience and many other audiences, for want of literacy, would see something written in Arabic as vaguely terrorising itself. In Aravrit, however, both languages are fused, inviting the reader to see them as co-equals and perhaps to comprehend something about their commonality. Visit Hyperallergic at the link above to learn more and for a demonstration of how the characters were split and reconfigured.