New Blog Alert: Vintage Arabic Book Covers

Who doesn’t like book jackets? Better still, vintage jackets:

khati2aA new blog — launched this month and run by freelance designer and street artist Adham Bakry (@adham_bakry) — promises to share new vintage covers each week.

No commentary is offered with the covers, although information is sometimes available on Google Books. For instance, Mohammad Zaki Abdelqadr’s On the Edge of Sin, at right, was apparently published in 1973 and was only 143 pages.

You can download your own copy, if you like, fromt the Biblioteca Alexandrina. But presumably the jackets are being chosen for their aesthetic interest, not their contents.

If you have suggestions on covers to include, you can email bakry at a [dot] bakry [at] gmail [dot] com. And if you like vintage cover art, Jonathan Guyer of Oum Cartoon also recently required a stash of out-of-print Arabic cartoon books, which he promises will appear on his blog.

You can also vote on GoodReads for your favorite cover design on an Arabic novel.


  1. My random rant of the day:

    I always believed one of the main reason the Arab world lags behind in readership is the fact that most covers are extremely dull, outdated, and/or cheap looking (btw I’m not speaking about the cover here. I actually like it). Personally, one of the main reasons I buy a book is an appealing cover.

    The main main reason, if you will, is that formal Arabic is a semi-dead language (i.e. a language no one speaks natively). I hate to plug myself (or do I?) but see this blog post:

    I look forward to following the blog you recommended and thanks for this post and your blog in general.

    1. Well, there certainly is new literature coming out in various 3meyas, but yes, not much. And as a parent who tries to get her kids to read in Arabic, I can certainly sympathize. Feel free to plug yourself, I’d love to hear more from you.

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