In the 1930s, the architect Nasri Khattar tried to completely overhaul the Arabic script – singlehandedly. For the next 47 years, he worked day and night to implement his writing system, Unified Arabic. Ultimately, he failed. This is his story.


From Nasri Khattar’s children’s book, Shuf, Baba, Shuf: “شوف بابا شوف”


For More:

Download and buy Unified Arabic fonts here.

Yara Khoury’s book, Nasri Khattar: A Modernist Typotect. She also published an article about his work.


Episode Credits & Notes

Special Thanks to Camille Khattar, Yara Khoury, Kristyan Sarkis, and Samar Mikati at the AUB archives.

Produced by Jahd Khalil. With editorial support by Alex Atack, Hebah Fisher, Dana Ballout, and Bella Ibrahim. Sound design by Alex Atack and Mohamad Khreizat. Fact-checking by Zeina Dowidar.

This episode was supported in part by L’Hote Libanais, a collection of guesthouses across Lebanon.