Nope, Not Arabic

A collection of things that are not Arabic. What is this?

Nope, Not Arabic is an archive of things that are not Arabic. It documents instances of butchered Arabic script in public, from major motion pictures to billboards to video games and everything in between.

What is happening?

Computers are designed to handle the subset of the Latin script required to manipulate American English first and foremost. Every other writing system is an afterthought, and Arabic is particularly poorly served. Most of the images in this archive are the result of non-Arab graphic designers pasting Arabic text into mainstream graphic design software that cannot handle anything but Latin characters and not checking with a native speaker.

I have written about this at length at The Increment and the Decolonising the Digital Journal, and I spoke at DECONSTRUCT 2019 on the subject.

What do I do if I see butchered Arabic?

Contact me on Twitter or email with a screenshot or photograph and information on where and when you saw it and I will be happy to add it to the archive. You should also contact the people responsible, if possible, and tell them they are embarrassing themselves and offending a billion people.

How do I avoid butchering Arabic?

My article at The Increment gets into it.

Who's behind this?

Hi, I'm Ramsey Nasser and I do research into the hidden cultural assumptions present in computing among other things. Arabic is my native language so I lose sleep over this shit.

This archive was originally on tumblr but as that platform has degraded over the years I decided to move everything to a git repo where I have more control over the content.