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

A Lebanese-Egyptian artist, designer and art historian, Bahia Shehab studies ancient Arabic script and applies it to modern-day issues. She is the Creative Director with MI7-Cairo, working on projects relevant to cultural heritage. Shehab is also an associate professor at the American University in Cairo, where she has developed a four-year Graphic Design program focusing on the discipline in the Arab world. In addition, Shehab is a TED Fellow and a PhD candidate at Leiden University in Holland.

Shehab notably created a De Beers campaign, which won an International Advertising Association gold award. Her installation A Thousand Times No was displayed at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany, and was published as a book by The Khatt Foundation.

But most recently, Shehab has taken her art to the streets of Cairo, stenciling images in support of her country’s revolution.

Bahia Shehab’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Bahia Shehab


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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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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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