Tayeb Saeed

New Nubian Alphabet based on an Old Nubian (Merotic) Alphabet.

Creation of new Truetype and handwriting font for the Nubian language

In this project I do my bit in the broader project of cultural rescue, I work with the indigenous language of Nubia, creating a new letter based on inscription dated about (750 BC). After the collapse of this civilization the language survived only orally and are now in the process of defining writing systems based on old Greek, Latin or Arabic alphabet. This artificial appropriation, or imposition, of such structurally different language creates visual and typographic problems, ease of reading and writing.

The Nubian Language is the common feature among all Nubian. Nubian of today talks the language but don't write it. Several scholars have conducted researches and studies on the Old Nubian. Except for one single Nubian-speaking Scholar (the Late Dr. Mukhtar M.Khalil of the Dept. of Archaeology- Cairo University) all others are non-Nubian and their researches and studies are based mainly on findings. Dr. Khalil believed that talking the language itself makes a lot of difference in verification of the Old Nubian Language and scripts. In his book "The Nubian Language - Writing in Nubian Script.?" which is about to be published in the near future (by Nubian Publishing House-faye - Dr. Shallabi and others -Sudan) there are answers to many frequently asked questions on this Old Nubian language. The script or characters he used are almost similar to those verified by other acknowledged scholars like Griffith and Browne. The Old Nubian Miracle of Saint Menas Manuscript (British Museum) is considered as the most significant finding in this respect. There is a set of TrueType Nubian Fonts for Microsoft Windows used by almost all scholars nowadays, which I am referring to. The first manual on writing in Old Nubian based on the late Dr. Mukhtar's set of Characters has been published by The Nubian Studies and Documentation Center-NSDC- Dec. 1997.

Historically: The inhabitants of the emporium of Meroe (on the ground of Ethiopia) were the first people to use a letteral script. The signs for this script they took from the Egyptians - the Hieroglyphics (they did not use all the many hundreds of Hieroglyphics, but selected just 23 of them). They used two different scripts: Hieroglyphics and Demotic (compare it with our printed and written scripts!!!)

09.jpg - Presentation Poster for the Nubian font (A1 Size)