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The rôle of Dutch Arabic Typography in Middle Eastern Printing

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Uploaded on Jan 5, 2012

Arabic or Eurabic? European attitudes towards Islamic script culture and their unexpected consequences

Since the 16th century, Western Orientalists have dismissed the functional structure of the Arabic script, viewing it rather as an irrelevant aberration, calligraphy. They therefore have neglected the study and analysis of this characteristic aspect of the Islamic civilization. Nonetheless, unsuspecting letter foundries and typographers have always sought expertise from precisely such scholars educated with this atitude. As a result, within the family of Semitic scripts, a new sub-variant for the notation of Arabic written languages was inadvertently created, namely Eurabic. In the Islamic world - where this kind of script was initially cast aside as illegible - the use of Eurabic typography was traditionally limited to newspapers and magazines. However, with the rapid rise of superficially Arabized computer technology and the spread of the Internet, the Eurabic phenomenon has begun to take firm root in the Islamic world.

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