Artist, educator and activist Bahia Shehab discusses the role of artists at times of political change, and reflects on what it meant to take part in the Arab Spring a decade ago. She talks about her newly-published book “You Can Crush The Flowers: A Visual Memoir of the Egyptian Revolution,” and her work to help develop a new generation of creative minds through arts education.


Bahia Shehab is a professor of the practice 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 the visual culture of the Arab world. She has taught over fourteen courses on the topic. She frequently lectures internationally on Arab visual culture and design, design education and curriculum development, Islamic cultural heritage, and her art practice. Her artwork has been on display in exhibitions, galleries, and streets internationally and has received several international recognition and awards. The documentary Nefertiti’s Daughters  featured her street artwork during the Egyptian uprising released in 2015. Her previous publications include “A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif.”  She is the first Arab woman to receive the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture.