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New stamp series showcasing cultural icons designed by LAU faculty member

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Hiba Mikdashi, who teaches at LAU's Graphic Design Department, has designed the latest set of Liban Post stamps highlighting renowned Lebanese artistic and cultural figures.

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The stamps depicting singers Sabah and Fayrouz.

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Some of the other figures showcased in the stamp series included poet Said Akl, comedian Hassan Alaa Eddine, and actor and singer Wadih El Safi.

August 5, 2011—

LAU faculty member Hiba Mikdashi has designed the latest set of commemorative Liban Post stamps highlighting renowned Lebanese artistic and cultural figures.

The limited print 12 stamps profile cultural icons that were selected by the Ministry of Communications.

The series includes singer Fayrouz, poet Said Akl, singer Sabah, dance troupe Caracalla, actor Nabih Abou El-Hossn, comedian Hassan Alaa Eddine (aka, Chouchou), sculptors the Basbous brothers, and actor and singer Wadih El Safi.

“It was important for me to show the spirit of the artist for whom I was designing the stamp,” says Mikdashi, who is a part-time lecturer at LAU’s Department of Graphic Design.

The stamps set the cultural figures against a brightly colored background. The images were all sourced from archive materials found by Mikdashi.

“I didn’t want the image to be too far from who the person is now, but I thought they should be very graceful figures. For example, Fayrouz is not smiling, but you see her smile in the movement of her hair or the shape of her lips.”

The stamps are part of an ongoing initiative by the Ministry of Communications to raise the profile of Lebanon’s historical and cultural importance.

The set was heralded as “a great success” by Hind Fadel, the marketing director of Liban Post. “Everyone has a youthful memory of the people featured in the collection, so they all feel invested in the stamps,” Fadel adds.

Mikdashi designed her first set of stamps about the liberation of South Lebanon for Liban Post in 2001. Since then, she has designed nine series of stamps, with themes ranging from famous buildings to the sixth Francophone Games held in Beirut in 2009.

“Stamps are not leaflets or posters, so when making them I have to think about much more than just design issues. Stamps have a social responsibility and document some of the things that are almost forgotten,” says Mikdashi.

The process for deciding what is featured on stamps is well planned. First, Mikdashi and officials from Liban Post and the Ministry of Communications meet and discuss possible themes. The ministry then finalizes the theme, and chooses the subjects that should be highlighted in the collection. Each series of stamps has a limited run, after which a new theme is explored.

“It’s not about aesthetics,” says Mikdashi, adding that the design “has to work socially, culturally and naturally, so that everyone is affected by it, and also it must fit on a 2-3 cm bilingual stamp.”

Mikdashi, who specializes in philatelic stamp design, holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the American University of Beirut, and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths College in London.
 


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