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This Egyptian Designer is Using Legos to Revolutionise Arabic Language Learning

Internationally acclaimed graphic designer, creative problem solver, and one of Forbes’ 2017 30 under 30 Europe Ghada Wali's Project 'Let's Play' is helping early learners and foreign speakers with learning the Arabic alphabet.

Arabic was once the language of scientists and artists. It’s the language of the Quran and countless lines of poetry that once shook the world. Arabic is one of the most beautiful languages in the world, both spoken and written; it’s also one of the most difficult, if not the hardest, languages to learn. It takes months for people learning Arabic to understand the alphabet and use it comfortably, mostly for the complexity of its written structure. Ghada Wali, internationally acclaimed graphic designer, creative problem solver, and the first Egyptian woman to be featured on Forbes’ 2017 30 under 30 Europe, wanted to help early learners and foreign speakers get a better understanding of the Arabic alphabet and in the simplest way possible, so she’s used Legos. That’s right, Legos.

Through Wali’s award-winning project ‘Let’s Play’ users can learn to the sound of the words and build each Arabic letter in their initial, medial and final forms, using the colourful building blocks that we all played with growing up. Ghada told Quartz “What’s more pure, innocent, and fun as Lego? It’s a universal time story. You play with them. You build with them.”

Wali’s goal when she started the project was to work out the technical, punctuation, and letter differences between Latin and Arabic languages. But the bilingual system, she talked about at the TEDGlobal conference in Arusha, Tanzania, was meant to break away from the fear surrounding Arabic and to pave the way for “more tolerant communities”.

Ghada says that working in this project was “a form of visual meditation” and she’s hoping provide “endless possibilities” to those who want to learn Arabic. Check out the full project here.

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