Category Archives: Uncategorized

Arabic typesetting revisited

Hand written naskh (by Ibrahim Khattat – Iraq 20th century) My involvement with arabic has always been, for over 40 years, essentially calligraphic and I have always disliked the idea of trying to mechanise an essentially hand written script.  But … Continue reading

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Mending fences, chasing demons.

I have just returned from a few days filming in Morocco which was an attempt to revisit the time myself and a bunch of young white English and American men and women first visited a venerable Sufi master and his … Continue reading

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From Mods to Mecca

Nostalgia has always been big business. Look how the Victorians ached for a romantic gothic past and the Edwardians for a rapidly disappearing bucolic world with the arts and crafts revival. To find my own past the subject of a … Continue reading

Posted in music, Publishing, religion, sacred knowledge, tassawuf, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The Descent of Man

The latest L’Oreal TV ad goes like this: A beautiful female model pouts, “I believe in science, I don’t believe in miracles.” It’s a statement of faith. Odd, as they have a product called Revitalift Miracle Blur. So I don’t think L’Oreal … Continue reading

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Rumi, Rihlas and Other Considerations

If you are Turkish, Afghan or Iranian, most likely you would consider your ‘bard’ to be Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi the great poet and Imam who is buried in Konya, the capital of central Anatolia, Turkey. He was born in Balkh, … Continue reading

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Life is Transistory

The title of this post, a malapropism by an old buddy of mine many years ago, has now strangely become a reality. Little switching devices (ie transistors) like the ones on the left, millions of which are embedded in all … Continue reading

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More from Sarajevo 1997

Bosnian Hafiz Alili recites here (mp3s below) some opening ayats of Sura Rahman which opened the Yusuf Islam concert put on in Sarajevo in 1997 to help promote Bosnian culture in war-wracked Bosnia two years after the war finished. Maybe … Continue reading

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The Vanishing Sign Writer

Much as I have championed skilful type design I am also saddened that the type font has virtually wiped out the sign writer’s craft. Hand lettering on shops, vans and on sign posts and name plates has all but disappeared … Continue reading

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Not About Typography

This isn’t about typography, or music. File under personal jottings. As a confirmed expat, my umbilical link to the old country is through my computer, like probably millions of other expats. Whilst tapping on my laptop a few days ago, … Continue reading

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Chocolate Bunnies

Easter is a strange time of year in Spain. As a puzzled young mother said to me: How do you explain what all the chocolate bunnies, crucifixions and fireworks mean to a two year old boy. How do you? I suggested … Continue reading

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