Feature: Hadeer Omar

Hadeer Omar, a visual communicator, Independent filmmaker and an entrepreneur with a Bachelor of Fine Art, Graphic Design and Masters of Fine Art in Design studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. She founded an online studio called Kroki design studio. 

3arabizi Keyboard Concept

3arabizi Keyboard Concept from hadeeromar on Vimeo.


Text messaging technology in the early days was accessible in the market only in the Germanic and Romance languages. Arabs struggled to use the English keyboard in their daily texting communication. So, they created a system for themselves, which allowed them to write Arabic sentences using English letters. They added the numbers to the alphabets to present phonetics that existed just in the Arabic script. For instance, “3” in 3arabizi is representing the letter “ع” (Ain). The system became part of the pop culture between youth in the MENA region, and it is embedded in their everyday activities until now. Some call it “3arabizi” others call it “Franco-Arabic”.

3arabizi is a communication system that is used just for texting or writing in Arabic. The users don’t speak it. The hands and fingers are the only methods to use this communication system within different platforms. In the process the designer found the connections between this system and how Muslims use their hands and fingers gestures as a method to keep track of their supplications “Zikr”. They practice by using the tip of their finger to count the finger joints 99 times. They utilize the finger joints or a string of beads “Misbaha / Sibha”, which it is a unique counting system. A system was designed to use this counting system, to appropriate the English keyboard to reflect the MENA context. To question globalization and the significance of finding the right methods to adapt the globalized systems which have been introduced to a specific culture.

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 15.12.38

We will be picking an Artist a week and featuring them on our site! Want to be featured? Contact us, we’d love to see your work.

Celebrating Emerging Middle Eastern Creatives