TED Fellow Bahia Shehab sends an important message through her street art in Cairo: “You can crush the flowers, but you can’t delay spring."

Why you should listen

Bahia Shehab is an artist, designer and art historian. She is associate professor of design and founder of the graphic design program at The American University in Cairo, where she has developed a full design curriculum mainly focused on visual culture of the Arab world. She has taught over fourteen courses on the topic.

Shehab's artwork has been on display in exhibitions, galleries and streets in Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, UAE and the US. The documentary Nefertiti's Daughters featuring her street artwork during the Egyptian uprising was released in 2015. Her work has received a number of international recognitions and awards; TED fellowship (2012) and TED Senior fellowship (2016), BBC 100 Women list (2013, 2014), The American University in Beirut distinguished alumna (2015), Shortlist for V&A’s Jameel Prize 4 (2016), and a Prince Claus Award (2016). Her book A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif was published in 2010.

Bahia Shehab’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Bahia Shehab

We humans

Gallery: What inequality looks like

June 3, 2014

We asked an international group of 12 artists, designers, photographers and activists to provide one image that encapsulates what inequality means to them -- and to explain their selection. The results are stunning and thought-provoking. Warning: some of them might make you cry.

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Ideas

My City: An artist spray-paints Cairo’s uncertain future

October 31, 2013

Early one morning, hours before the sun would rise, Lebanese-Egyptian artist, activist and historian Bahia Shehab was alone on the streets of Cairo, spray-painting a stenciled message that spoke out against the stripping of veiled women. It’s a campaign she discussed in “A thousand times no,” her inspiring TED Talk, and it was not only […]

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