Desiging Broken Shadows

As mentioned earlier, I was happy to be part of the team bringing Broken Shadows to the light (pun intended)

I wanted a touch of geometric symmetry of Square Kufi and to try using it in Lain Alphabet. My target was to present something more sophisticated than a normal font and of course that the design is tailored specifically to the title, while maintaining the appeal to an international audience.

And it all begins with the pen and paper.


And then it turns out into this:

Broken effect

Broken Shadows by Tarek Refaat

I’m glad to post here that my friend Tarek Refaat has finally published his new book. Last Thursday was the unvailing and it was welcomed with great enthousiasm.

I hope you will like the design of the cover title, it is one of my trials in discovering usages of the Kufi script.

Stay tuned for the work progress!





BSCRTourButtonTitle: Broken Shadows


Author: Tarek Refaat


Release Date: April 8, 2016


Publisher: Red Sands Publishing


Genre: Thriller, Crime, Suspense, International


Book Description:

Broken hearts and dark shadows, will love ever find its way back to them?

Fifteen years ago, Heidi Aasar fled the country, hoping to make sense of the chaos that

surrounded her. A burned ex-operative, she refuses to continue hiding in the shadows.

She now has the chance to right the wrongs of her dark past. Determined to find a way to

redeem herself, she must first fix the loose threads she left behind so long ago.

A successful business owner, Nadim Mohamed Sharaf has done his best to move on after

his heart was broken fifteen years ago. In his mind, he has everything he could ever want

or need at his fingertips. Until the moment Heidi makes a sudden reappearance in his life.

It’s then everything around him changes.

A chain reaction of events soon turns Nadim and Heidi’s lives upside-down. Forced to

confront the turmoil brewing between them, they must put aside their differences if they

are to survive another day. The choices they’ll have to make will define the outcome of

the lives they lead.

Will they be able to overcome their painful and chaotic past? Or will the pain and

heartache consume them in the long run?


(Purchase links are not yet available.)






AFTER A LONG DAY AT WORK, Nadim stood in his office,

observing Cairo from the seventeen stories high window. The streets below were

crowded. He could see the people rushing to get back to their homes, eager for a little

respite from a hard day’s work.

Cabs pulled up to the curb along the two-way street to pick up clients and those eager to

get away from the ensuing chaos. People scurried about like rats trapped inside a maze.

Some greeted others in a timely fashion, while others grew surly and shouted obscenities.

Nadim smirked and shook his head. He was used to this scene spreading out before him.

It wouldn’t be long until he joined the ‘rats’ trapped in their own chaotic mazes. The

thought of making his way home appealed to him.

His mind wandered, trapping him in another maze. A maze that took him back fifteen

years. One that brought back memories he’d spent a lifetime trying to avoid. Memories

he wished he could forget, once and for all.

Nadim thought he’d forgotten all about her, the one woman who’d broken his heart.

She’d meant everything to him. He would have given her the world if she’d asked him to.

During his high school days, he’d been known as a playboy. A sweet-talker who’d gotten

exactly what he’d wanted. Charming and attentive, every girl in school came to him for

advice about guys. Most of them ended up hooking up with him.

He’d experienced the same throughout college and work until he’d met her. Beautiful and

brazen, she’d wrapped him around her finger. She’d drawn him in like a moth to flame,

inciting his baser desires. In the end, she’d played him like a smooth violin, cutting its

strings with a scalpel so that it made no noise, whatsoever.

Nadim growled with annoyance. He never thought he’d ever see her again. After fifteen

years, the bane of his existence had popped up in his life once more. Heidi had recently

dropped by his office for an interview.



Tarek Refaat is an Egyptian author born in October 1980. He comes from a family that

has diverse cultural roots, and has spent most of his adulthood between Saudi and Egypt,

until finally settling in Egypt.

Tarek is an avid reader of history, and has been into writing since a very young age. He

loves to describe the thoughts and feelings he’s experienced through words. He has

written poetry and prose, and decided as of 2009 to move forward into stories and novels.

Tarek has previously been published, and has also self-published. He views writing as his

aim to reach as many people through his thoughts, and provoke positive and hopeful

energy through his stories.








Arabic Graffiti

Photos from “Arabic Graffiti”,   Pascal Zoghbi, Don Stone Karl, (Goodreads – Amazon)

Highly recommended!


“The Oriental Pages Collection”, Malik Anas Al-Rajab


“The Oriental Pages Collection”, Malik Anas Al-Rajab



“الوطن ليس المكان أو التراب الذي يولد فيه الإنسان وإنما المكان الذي يستطيع فيه أن يتحرك” – عبد الرحمن منيف

Obhur , Jedda, 2012


على الدنيا بعدك العفا – Abu Saiba, Sar, Bahrain 2008


Hamra, Beyrouth, Lebanon


Karantina, Beyrouth, Lebanon




El Seed – Montreal, Canada, 2008


El Seed – Montreal, Canada, 2008


El Seed 2009


احتاج تاريخي – El Seed


Julien Breton 2009


Julien Breton 2006


Julien Breton 2007


احترام  – Julien Breton 2010


Julien Breton


Jacques Bournat


Khuraif, Weimar, Germany 2008


يا غنماتي قولوا وراي – Ahmad Sabbagh , Amman , Jordan 2010


Mohammed Ali, London, 2009


Mohammed Ali, Dubai 2010

Terry Pratchett

A Spinozan view of child development sees the opposite of wish-fulfillment. There are rules, constrains, that limit what we can do. The child learns, as she grows, to modify her plans as she perceives more of the rules. Initially, she might attempt to cross the room assuming that the chair is not an obstacle, when it doesn’t move out of her way, she will feel frustration, a ‘passion’. And throws a paddy. Later, as she constructs her path to avoid the chair, more of her plans will peaceably, and successfully, come to fruition. As she grows and learns more of the rules -God’s Will or the warp and woof of universal causation- this progressive success will produce a calm acceptance of constraints: peace rather than passion.

بعد كده اتكلم عن أهمية أن الواحد يتعلم من القصص اللي البطل فيها بيفشل في تحقيق هدفه مرة و اتنين، و ازاي ده بيخلي الواحد يركز على التعلم من أخطائه و اكتساب الخبرة. فالقصص البدائية في نظره، البطل فيها بيلاقي المصباح و يقعد يدعك فيه لغاية ما يطلع له الجني يحقق له رغباته. أما القصص المفيدة من وجهة نظره، هي اللي البطل الأولاني القوي يحاول الزواج من ست الحسن و الجمال ، لكنه يفشل. ييجي أخوه يحاول يتعلم من أخطاء الأول و يبين للقارئ (المتعلم) صعوبة المهمة. لكنه يفشل لأن العلام مش بالساهل. و بعدين ييجي الأخ التالت اللي بيتعلم من فشل الأول و خبرة التاني و ينجح.
جايز القارئ العادي ميفكرش في كسب ود ست الحسن و الجمال، لكنه بعد ما يكبر، ممكن يستفيد من بذرة القصة ديه لما يشتغل في مشروع أو في عمله.

الحتة ديه جايباها من الويكي بتاعه:
Our minds make stories, and stories make our minds. Each culture’s Make-a-Human kit is built from stories, and maintained by stories. A story can be a rule for living according to one’s culture, a useful survival trick, a clue to the grandeur of the universe, or a mental hypothesis about what might happen if we pursue a particular course. Stories map out the phase space of existence

عجبتني أوي make-a-human-kit 🙂

و أخيراً قال:

Narrativium makes a different kind of mind from the tribal one, which is all ‘do this because we’ve always done it that way and it woks’ and ‘don’t do that because it’s taboo, evil, and we’ll kill you if you do’. And it also differs from the barbairian mind: ‘That way lies honour, booty, much wealth and many children(if I can only get a djinn, or a dgun); I would not demean myself, dishonour these hands, with menial work.” ……. The reader of tales that have been moulded and informed by narrativium is prepared to do whatever an understanding of the task requires


The perfect instrument

“My way of approaching Allah -may his name be praised- has been through calligraphy, and the search for the perfect meaning of each word. A single letter requires us to distill in it all the energy it contains, as if we were carving out its meaning. When sacred texts are written, they contain the soul of the man who served as an instrument to spread them throughout the world. And that doesn’t apply only to sacred texts, but to every mark we place on paper. Because the hand that draws each line reflects the soul of the person making that line.”

On Calligraphy from “The Witch of Portobello”