Top of this document
Go directly to navigation
Go directly to page content

event- 7 reactions

"A Thousand Times NO"

Letters Off the Page @ Future of Tradition – Tradition of Future exhibition

" When you want to deny all of the stereotypes that are imposed on you and that try to define your role in the world.When you want to reject almost every aspect of your reality. When you want to decline every political reality you live under. When you want to dismiss all of the options available to you. When you want to negate all the accusations that go hand in hand with your identity. When you want to refuse to be an imitator or follower of the West, yet you also refuse the regressive interpretation of your heritage. ‘A thousand Nos’ are not enough."

Bahia Shehab. A Thousand Times No. 2010.
Plexiglass curtain. 2.5 m x 6 m, and 1016 page book documenting the research.
(Collection of the designer)

This work is a research-based tribute to the wealth, diversity and
freedom of expression in Islamic art.
It is a rejection of conformity and repression that often plagues
the Arab and Islamic cultures. It traces the history of one letterform
the Lam-alif (which means NO in Arabic), and repeats it a thousand
different times to illustrate the common Arabic expression: “No, and a
thousand times no!”. The book by the same title and also designed for
the installation, is a visual documentation of the different lam-alifs,
their origin, placement and medium chronologically, published by
Khatt Books in Amsterdam, 2010.

Comments (7)


19 Dec 2010, 15:22



27 Apr 2011, 13:54


You mention there is a 1016 book documenting the research - produced for the installation and published by Khatt Books. Will this be available for public release at some point?

15 Jul 2011, 23:02


I salute Bahia for this impressive work. I wish this kind of work is Made more accessible to the masses in the Arab and islamic world. I hope one day the general public will start to appreciate the beauty and versatility of Arabic calligraphy.

8 Oct 2012, 6:15

great work! i also would like to share a related article

Idea and execution, researching material and the way signs were exhibit are very motivational for people looking for freedom. Thanks Bahia.

Here is an article about “A thoousand times No” i wrote for “Postales urbanas” project, it’s in spanish ->

8 Oct 2012, 8:49


nice idea

11 Oct 2012, 4:25


very nice work, and nice concept too
Saw you on Ted Talk and really liked your work.

16 Nov 2012, 18:15

Post title

Post url

Your comment