Kalimat is not just a one-directional magazine focused on publishing works by Arab creatives, it's a small-but-growing media vehicle that looks to change design education in the Arab region, through publishing great work that has thus far not found its place. We want to bring together students, educators, professionals, entrepreneurs, businesses and just about anyone from any background committed to education, collaboration and pursuing new solutions to problems. Design is a powerful problem solving tool. Designers mediate across language barriers, clarifying messages using elements of design. This isn't a thinking process saved solely for all fields of design, and it isn't purely aesthetic, but it can be used in non-typical places for collaboration and to find creative solutions to social and political problems, policies, business practices, and more.
The influence of the fields of design and media is largely ignored within education. At best, it is focused on providing functional skills for the workplace- which is important, but not community focused. Often we find ourselves without the tools to tell our stories and plan our lives and communities the way we see them. Kalimat wants to enable people to understand—and shape—the world around us according to their specifications. Our projected goal is to fill that void by developing comprehensive media and design-oriented education (including workshops, courses and centres and eventually college and university curricula) that address this issue and train a new generation of thinkers and leaders using design methodologies to make significant changes in their communities.
Our current rigorous editing process with writers whose first language isn't English is our first step in creating a system of constructive criticism and language building in order for them to develop the confidence and skills to share their stories in various outlets, not just in Kalimat Magazine. Media, like design, is a powerful tool for education. We want to emphasise and teach the power these fields have in everyday choices that impact the communities and places that we live in. As a media vehicle, Kalimat seeks to works with people to develop the essential tools needed to realise this potential. After all, design is more than a poster and making things look pretty, even though that is definitely part of it.
And, of course, we are still learning as well. If you are an Arab educator, or a media or design professional and want to get involved, get in touch. Our mandate is to highlight and develop Arab skill, talent and communities, and has always been by Arabs, for everyone.