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'Absolute Egypt' is a Love Letter to Our Streets' Unique Visual Identity

In her latest book, author and graphic designer Raghda Moataz categories and archives Egypt’s graphic language in beautifully excruciating detail.

absolute egypt

“Welcome to the most inconsistently consistent culture of all time” reads one of the first pages of author and graphic designer Raghda Moataz’s latest book, ‘Absolute Egypt’. It’s an ode to the erratic nature of our country’s visual identity and maybe a nod to just how mind-blowingly labouring a task it was to classify and assort it all.

This is by all means the most definitive archive of the graphic language found throughout Egypt’s streets. From the colours and the calligraphy, to the signage and the symbols, ‘Absolute Egypt’ does away with the notion that we are surrounded by visual pollution but rather celebrates why and how things look the way they do in excruciating detail. Ever wondered about the pantones of old paint-based advertisements faded on the sides of buildings? Have you ever stopped to consider the durability of the designs on sewer covers or the attention-seeking nature of a fuul cart? Moataz has, and has unveiled these mysteries and more in this comprehensive love letter to the design elements underlying Egypt’s culturally-rich urban environments.

“It has been my sweat-and-tears project for the past two and a half years,” Moataz said. “I wanted to bring a voice and attention to the amazing local visual culture of my country for so long and get people to see the beauty I have always seen in them.”

The book was published by Amsterdam-based Khatt Books, which specialises in topics related to the visual arts of the MENA region, and features stunning urban imagery and acute graphic visualization on every page. It's practically a work of art in and of itself, and is the perfect coffee table book to boot. Now more than ever, it's a great time to fall back in love with our streets.

‘Absolute Egypt’ is available to purchase online through Khatt Books or Amazon.


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