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Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares

Founding and Creative Director of the Khatt Foundation

Member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale)

Dr. Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès, is the Founding Director of the Khatt Foundation, Center for Arabic Typography.

She holds a PhD from Leiden University (in Middle Eastern Studies, 2017), an MFA from from Yale University School of Art (in Graphic Design, 1990) and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design (in Graphic Design, 1987).

She is author of Arabic Typography: a comprehensive sourcebook (Saqi Books, London, 2001), Experimental Arabic Type (Saatchi & Saatchi, Dubai, 2002), Typographic Matchmaking (BIS Publishers, Amsterdam 2007), Typographic Matchmaking in the City (Khatt Books, Amsterdam 2011), and Arabic Type Design for Beginners (Khatt Books, Amsterdam 2013), and a number of book chapters and essays on multilingual communication and contemporary design in the Middle East. She contributes articles on design in the Middle East to academic journals and industry magazines like Baseline, Bidoun, Design Issues//, and others.

She specializes in bilingual typographic research and design. She has worked as a designer for a number of years, in the US, Europe and the Arab World. She has art directed and collaborated on the design of several contemporary Arabic fonts for magazines like Aleph (London) and several companies in the Gulf. She has taught typography and graphic design at the American University of Beirut. She was the Chair of the Visual Communication Department for three years at the American University in Dubai and Special projects Director and Associate professor of Graphic Design until June 2008.
She currently supervises research of PhD candidates in the Leiden University Arts program.

She was jury member of the Jameel Prize 3 (2013), and has been a nominator for the Jameel Prize since 2014. She was a member of the advisory committee on art and design subsidiesfor the Mondriaan Foundation and the Creative Industries Fund, both in the Netherlands.

She curates exhibitions, organizes collaborative design research projects between Europe and the Middle East, and is editor of the Khatt Foundation online network of Arab/Middle Eastern designers ( She works between Europe and the Middle East as a typography and design consultant on projects of cultural relevance. She is the mastermind and curator of the Khatt Foundation's Typographic Matchmaking Projects (versions 1.0 & 2.0).

Interview: Nafas, art magazine

Interview: Al Jazeera English, Artsworld program

Interview: Design Inbada, South Africa

++++Interview: Gestalten TV

ولدت هدى سميتسهوزن أبي فارس في بيروت عام 1965 . تلقت تعليمها في جامعة يايل في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية ونالت شهادة جامعية في التصميم الإبداعي من كلية رود آيلاند سكول اوف ديزاين. تخصصت في الأبحاث المتعلقة بالخطوط الطباعية الثنائية اللغة والتصميم وعملت كمصممة لعدة سنوات في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية وأمستردام وفرنسا وبيروت. وخلال مسيرتها الدؤوبة في عالم الإبداع والتصميم ألفت هدى كتابين هما «الخطوط العربية الطباعية: المرجع الشامل» (دار الساقي، لندن 2001)، «الخطوط العربية التجريبية» (ساتشي آند ساتشي، دبي 2002)، «المزاوجة التيپوغرافية للخط الطباعي» (دار بيس، امستردام 2007)، و هذا بالإضافة إلى العديد من المقالات التي كتبتها حول الإعلام المتعدد اللغات و التصميم في منطقة الشرق الأوسط والبلاد العربية. انها عملت كاستاذة في قسم التصميم الغرافيكي منذ عام 1994 في الجامعة الامريكية في بيروت و الجامعة الامريكية في دبي. وهي رأست لمدة ثلاث سنوات قسم الإعلام المرئي في الجامعة الأمريكية في دبي. ويعود إليها فضل تأسيس «مؤسسة خط، مركز الخطوط الطباعية العربية» (امستردام 2004) وهي ترأسها حالياً.

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