Habashtakanat Magazine: A Unique Perspective on Cairo’s Vernacular Design

Student Status



Habashtakanat is a magazine that attempts to document the makeshift solutions that people create instantaneously in order to overcome the misfortunes and difficulties they face daily on the streets of Cairo. The magazine’s main aim is to contribute to the city’s visual language and culture; as well as trying to attract people’s attention to a layer within our streets that we do not notice often. A rich layer of temporary inventions that reflects the creativity of their makers. Not to mention their fairly good exploitation of the resources they stumble upon in the street. Throughout the magazine, there’s a focus on a number of different visual phenomena and elements that showcase the way people take ownership of their streets. It highlights in some how they repurpose the objects they find; and in others how both—the people and the inventions— adapt to the turbulent and constantly changing nature of their environment. And consequently, how all of these things add up and make the Cairene street what it is. The magazine is designed in a way as to depict this specific layer within the Cairene street. Its grid is dictated by the layout that the pictures when mashed up together, give birth to. It is mainly consisted of photographs taken in different areas around Cairo and brief anecdotes directed for more understanding for the reader. The first issue categorizes various methods of displaying products in its first pages. Following that, is a mini series that gives a voice to furniture that refuses to die. And in its last pages, it features an open submission on how people express their relationship with the city through pictures and words.


Arts Department

First Advisor

Bahia Shehab

Second Advisor

Ghalia ElSrakbi

Third Advisor

Haytham Nawar

Committee Member 1

Ahmed Ellaithy

Committee Member 2

Ahmad Saqfalhait

Committee Member 3

Ayman Ismail



Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


This piece of art work is part of the "Interdisciplinarity and Design Third Graduating Class of Graphic Design Students The American University in Cairo – Spring 2018" catalog. Held at the AUC Sharjah Art Gallery on December 21st, 2018, the "ALT w Shidd" exhibition showcased bachelor projects by the third Graduating class of Graphic Design students. This year’s projects were divided into 5 panels according to their tackled themes. The panels included “Digital Design”, “Fashion Design”, “Publication Design”, “Advertising”, and “Retail and Branding”. A team of internal and external jury members were invited to each panel in order to provide ourstudents with critical feedback and evaluate the final outcome of their projects according to conducted research, applied methodologies, and undertaken creative design process. Jury members from within AUC included Ahmed Ellaithy (TTO -Technology Transfer Office) Ahmad Saqfalhait (GRDN), Ayman Ismail (Venture Lab), Brenda Segone (ARTV), Heba Safeyeldine (ARCH), Marwan Fayed (GRDN), May Hasebou (GRDN), Mahamad Khalil (GRDN), and Sherif Samy (GRDN). As for external jurors; they included Amira Aboulmagd (Al-Shorouk Publishing), Majd Elsherif (Matter Branding), Mohab Anis (Innovety), Nigel Fletcher-Jones (AUC Press), Sahar Zoghby (FP7), Samy Elias(Sahara Printing), Sawsan Mourad (El Beit Magazine), and Suzie Graiess (Association for the Protection of the Environment).


This record describes an artistic or creative work which was prepared as part of a course of study at the American University of Cairo. The creators retain all rights to the original artistic or creative works described herein.

Publication Date

Fall 12-21-2018

This document is currently not available here.