is a collaboration between six artists that set out to explore letterforms and their symbolic connotations in the three faiths. The work originated from some considerations about the ‘first letter’ in the Latin, Hebrew and Arabic alphabets: we hear in the names of the letters Alif and Alef, and see in the shapes of the letters Alef and A, that our cultures, alphabets, and relationships with God are all related.

The three Abrahamic Faiths, called after the Biblical Abraham/Ibrahim/Avraham, are descended from the same linguistic and religious family trees. From “Av Ram” - the Great Father - our three faiths inherit not only Monotheism, but also strong family values and open hospitality. As we focus on our similarities while still respecting our differences, we share and deepen our knowledge of – and friendship with – one another, realising that these commonalities are not just coincidences.

As calligraphers, graphic designers and artists we investigated the pure aesthetic values of the letterforms while deepening our understanding about each other’s cultures and faiths and how they have interacted through history. What has been most of all an extraordinary learning process for all of us, has brought us to weave our thousands of years of conventions together; even though with challenge, this allowed us to re-invent and re-understand our separate cultures in the light of harmony/unity, a topic that we believe is more relevant today than ever..

A selection of prints, to view more please visit the exhibitions at the Jewish Museum Cafe (http://www.jewishmuseum.org.uk/?location_id=403) and the Red Gallery (http://www.threefaithsforum.org.uk/arts/). Prints will be available for sale.

Title: Tessellating letters
Size: 72,5 x 107 cm
Medium: Silkscreen print

Title: A3 (gold on Kufic pattern)
Size: 49,7 x 49,7
Medium: Gicleé and Silkscreen print

Title: Kufic 2 (Green on Jali paper)
Size: 58,5 x 85,5 cm
Medium: Silkscreen print

Soferet (ritual Hebrew scribe), artist, teacher, writer, speaker, and radio personality, Aviel Barclay is grounded in Judaism›s mystical and Halakhic traditions.

In the summer of 2003, Aviel returned to Jerusalem where she completed her training as a Soferet with her two Orthodox mentors. Following her certification, she began writing Megilot Esther and is currently writing a Sefer Torah.

Avielah currently lives in London.


Orly Orbach is an artist that creates open books and visual narratives, often through collaborative and participatory processes. Her work explores alternative ways in which stories can be created and disseminated. Working across mediums and disciplines, she incorporates drawing, performance, moving image and interactive artwork to reinterpret ancient and modern myths and construct new rituals. She has been developing collaborative and social methods of bringing stories to life, working with communities to explore ways of making narrative environments, embedding stories back into the landscape from which they were formed. The collaborative nature of her practice has led to numerous site-specific and community-based residencies, museum interpretation and socially-engaged regeneration projects.


Soraya Syed spent seven years training as a calligrapher. In 2005, she was awarded the sought-after icazetname (the authoritative Islamic calligraphy qualification) from Istanbul, Turkey.

Soraya read Arabic and History of Art & Archaeology at The School of Oriental and African Studies, and in 2001 graduated from the Masters programme in Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts at The Prince’s School, London.

She takes pleasure in finding new solutions to unusual commissions and her client portfolio ranges from the British Museum to the Saudi Royal Family.

Soraya’s work has been published and exhibited in many different countries. She now resides in west London with her husband and children.


Edward is a London based graphic designer originally from the Åland Islands in Finland. He specializes in working with type and typography and takes a particular interest in the traditional and handmade aspects of graphic design including relief printing and bookbinding. He has just finished working for the Design Laboratory at Central Saint Martins in order to dedicate his time to a Master in design research investigating the connections and overlaps between craft and design.



Mukhtar Sanders is a graphic designer passionate about type and all things beautiful. Born in London, he grew up fascinated by letterforms and calligraphy. In 1997 – 2000, he was apprentice to the renowned calligraphic artist Dr. Ahmed Moustafa.

He established his own company Inspiral Design Limited that has been trading for over 10 years. His work specialises in the Islamic world and multi-lingual design. His clients range from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to 1001 Inventions.

He runs his award winning graphic design studio in West London. He is married to Soraya with whom he has two children.


Francesca Ulivari is an Italian designer based in London, where she moved in 2007 to attend the MA Communication Design at Central Saint Martins College and has remained, fascinated by the huge contradictions that this city has to offer, despite missing the flexibility of the Italian lifestyle.
Particularly interested in the social function of design and the collaborative aspect that can result from it, Francesca works with a multidisciplinary approach that allows her to move, both conceptually and practically, between different disciplines.

She has worked in different sectors of design and communication, mainly in publishing (Granta) but also as freelance art director, designer and illustrator. She is currently working in the PearsonLloyd studio.



Photos are © Peter Sanders of Peter Sanders Photography Ltd.