Illustrations

  1. Surname-i Vehbi, Procession of the guilds; in the foreground, the representatives of the jewellers and goldsmiths. 82

  2. Wedding photograph of Boghos Kaboulian and Rebecca Najarian, Agn/Eğin, ca. 1898 (Kaboulian coll., USA / Houshamadyan). 116

  3. Wedding photograph of Arshalous Kasabashian (born Shahabian) and Yervant Kasabashian, Shabin-Karahisar, 1908 (Kasabach and Getoor coll., Southfield, MI, USA / Houshamadyan). 117

  4. The post-mortem photograph of Mahdesi Avedis Toumajan, Gürün (Toumajan coll., Southfield, MI, USA / Houshamadyan). 118

  5. Armenian family from Agn/Eǧin (Jamgochian coll., USA / Houshamadyan). 120

  6. The Kurkjian family, ca. 1901, Eǧin/Agn or Erzincan/Yerznga (Gloria Korkoian coll., Dearborn, MI, USA / Houshamadyan). 122

  7. The Der Matossian family, Keghi, before 1912 (ODA/Americas/Gloria Korkoian coll., Dearborn, MI, USA / Houshamadyan). 124

  8. The letter nūn may take many different shapes depending on the letter that follows. Figure taken from “Text Layout Requirements for the Arabic Script.” W3C Editor’s Draft 03 August 2017, https://w3c.github.io/alreq/. 249

  9. Nazar talisman, to ward off the Evil Eye, Turkey 2012. Blue glass, golden glitter, and plastic pearls, with printed motive showing the Kaʿba. 250

  10. Shop window in Istanbul 2012 with oversized “Muḥammad” lettering in an especially twisted ligature. 251

  11. Silver dirham dated 208/823-24. Photograph by Pernille Klemp for The David Collection, Copenhagen, Inv.No C 32. 253

  12. Beirut 2017 255

  13. On the fence surrounding the building site for the new Bauhaus Museum, to open in 2018, the slogan “Bauhaus Museum in the city of Dessau” is rendered in various languages. The Arabic version shows the three most common mistakes that word processing programmes cause: Writing is from left to right instead of right to left, letters are reversed, and all are unconnected. 256

  14. Programming Language qalb (“heart,” a recursive acronym for lugha barmaja) with the implementation of the Fibonacci sequence algorithm, which is frequently used in demonstrations of new programming languages. 257

  15. Dervish’s staff, Iran, 18th-19th century. Photograph by Pernille Klemp for the David Collection, Copenhagen, Inv.No 15/1994. 258

  16. In the shop of the Great Mosque of Xi’an, China, this calligraphy was displayed for sale in 2015. It shows a vase full of flowers that is formed out of words. The centre section of the vase reads raḥmat Allāh (God’s Mercy). 259

  17. A Turkish restaurant in Berlin uses the basmalah in the shape of a tulip as a neon-lit shop sign. 260

  18. In this Bektashi Ṣūfī paper silhouette (1280/1863–64), cut with a sharp knife rather than scissors, ʿAlī is personified as a lion. 261

  19. Arrival. Illustration by Anton Jones, 2018. 442

  20. Crossing. Illustration by Anton Jones, 2018. 457

  21. Detention. Illustration by Anton Jones, 2018. 463

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