Edit: This was originally posted in the Arabic Typography & Type Design forum, but received no replies in five days. In fact, that entire forum has been inactive otherwise for over a week, and I suspect the Special Interest Groups area doesn't get much traffic. I hope I can get more of a response by moving this to General Discussions.
The Ajami script refers to Arabic-based orthographies used for writing African languages.
Ajami texts traditionally held less prestige than Arabic texts, and the use of Ajami has been generally on the decline since colonial times Latin-based orthographies were introduced for these languages. In recent times, though, Ajami may be spreading in many areas through print and electronic media. And Ajami texts represent a largely unexamined body of literature that may provide fascinating insights into societies that are popularly conceived as having been illiterate (indeed, under colonial rule, a person who knew how to write in Ajami but not in the Latin-based orthography would have been considered illiterate).
The African Online Digital Library has a collection of Ajami texts for viewing in the West African languages of Fulani, Jóola Foñi, and Wolof, together with transcriptions and translations into English and French:
Since I know very little about the Arabic script, I have a number of questions for the experts here. Does Unicode currently cover all the modified letters needed for representing these Ajami texts? Are there widely available Arabic fonts that are suitable for representing Ajami texts for scholarly or everyday purposes? I have a feeling that since there are several different Ajami systems each with different modifications to the basic Arabic letters, current Arabic fonts would be inadequate. What would be the ideal typographic solution for Ajami? What style of script would be preferable based on these samples?
I realize it is difficult to answer these questions with a few low-resolution samples of a script in languages most of you don't know, but I'd love to hear what people make of the Ajami script.