Book Yasmine Nachabe Taan

Mouna Bassili Sehnaoui

The First Lebanese Woman Designer to Brand her Nation

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Mouna Bassili Sehnaoui is a Lebanese artist, born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1945. In the early 1960s, she moved with her family to Lebanon and joined the American University of Beirut for two years, then transferred to the University of Arizona, Tucson where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Mouna Bassili Sehnaoui is the first academically trained female graphic designer to set up a practice in the Arab region. The discussion of her visual production demonstrates how a woman’s self is revealed in the context of the cultural challenges of the time she lived in, and how being a woman in this particular culture shaped her and the Lebanese in different ways. Her graphic design production at the National Council of Tourism shaped the Lebanese visual identity and continued to influence her personal artistic production during the years after her career as a graphic designer at the ministry.

In the early 1970s, when she was in charge of the Graphic Art Department of the National Council of Tourism, she designed the popular logo that represents Lebanon on all publications issued until today by the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism. Bassili Sehnaoui also designed many stamps, posters, promotional books and flyers about Lebanon that circulated during the golden days of pre-civil war Lebanon. Many of them are still used by the Ministry of Tourism to this day. In her work she focuses on reinvigorating a Middle Eastern cultural heritage that combines Byzantine, Persian, and Phoenician iconography and mythology. She has received many awards in recognition of her artistic endeavors. Her artwork is part of local as well as international museums and private collections. This book is a compilation of more than a hundred works designed by Bassili Sehnanoui between the late 1960s and the early 1980s. It examines her significant contribution to the development of Lebanon’s visual identity including nation-building and modernization.


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Nagy Shaker, An Experimental Graphic Artist of the Egyptian Avant-Garde

Series: Arabic Design Library 10
Author: Yasmine Nachabe Taan
Publisher: Khatt Books, Amsterdam, 2023
ISBN: 978–94–90939–30–4
Edition: 176 p, ills colour, 17 x 24 cm, Hardback, English & Arabic
Price: 32,50