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Title: Regional and national variation in Arabic handwriting
Author: Al-Hadhrami, Ahmed Abdullah Nasser
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 134X
Awarding Body: University of Central Lancashire
Current Institution: University of Central Lancashire
Date of Award: 2013
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It has been established in a number of research publications that a careful study of general handwriting features based on class characteristics could indicate either the place or the country where the writer was first taught to write. Using these studies as the basis, this research was carried out explicitly to understand the characteristics of Arabic handwriting. The aim of this study was to determine the presence of any particular features or characteristics that may be common to individuals of a given region or nationality. This was done by obtaining samples of handwriting collected from individuals of four countries including; Jordan, Morocco, Oman and Tunisia, where Jordon and Oman are considered to be Eastern Arab world and Morocco and Tunisia in the Western Arab world. An attempt was made to establish whether it was possible to determine either the region or nationality of the writer of an Arabic passage of text, based on the formation and the style of the handwriting using specific Arabic characters. Different steps were taken towards the identification of the class characteristics of Arabic handwriting in this study starting with the collection of 600 handwriting samples from the participants in four Arabic countries employing; 150 handwriting samples from each. Ten different characters and one word were selected for examination, with more than one form of each character in different positions being identified and the handwriting samples classified accordingly. In total, 221 class characteristics were identified from the samples based on different criteria including the shape, number of strokes, pen movement and starting point. Tests of association using chi-squared on individual characters showed that the p-value is less than 0.001 in every case. Correspondence analysis was used to produce a plot of relative similarities where the different countries appear as discernible, but overlapping groups. ANOSIM showed these groups to be statistically different (R = 0.321 p = 0.0002, 1000 permutations). Tree analysis was used to create a classification system and blind tests were conducted to test the accuracy of the classification system. On the basis of the statistics used, significant differences were found in character forms used by the individuals from the four Arabic countries, suggesting that either region or nationality of the writer may potentially be predicted with a useful degree of accuracy. Though the samples were obtained from only four countries out of a total of 22 Arab countries and only ten characters and one word out of 28 characters were chosen in this study, the results obtained are valuable and useful, particularly to Forensic Document Examiners (FDEs). In turn this could be implemented in practice in a situation where a questioned document containing Arabic text is presented and the suspected author could have come from one of the four considered countries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Q Science (General)