by Rana Asfour
Calligraphy is a visual art, related to writing in which - and this is a personal observation - every cursive letter seems to harbour in its folds a story of its own. Calligraphy, from the Greek words kallos (beauty) and graphos (writing), refers to the harmonious proportion of both letters within a word and words on a page. It is the most esteemed art form in the Islamic world.
According to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art website, The first calligraphic script to gain prominence in Qur'ans and on architecture and portable works of art was kufic, which features angular letters, horizontal format, and thick extended strokes. Eventually, variations of kufic emerged. Examples range from letters intertwined with floral ornament (floriated kufic) to letters that appear to be woven into knots.
Kufic is the oldest calligraphic form of the various Arabic scripts and consists of a modified form of the old Nabataean script. It developed around the end of the 7th century in Kufa, Iraq, from which it takes its name.
If this has sparked an interest and you live in Abu Dhabi, then rejoice! Taking place this weekend at Art Central in Boutik Mall, on Reem Island, is a calligraphy pop up workshop by renowned instructor Nafi Hakki.This is an introductory 2-hour session for anyone wanting to explore the different types of scripts and styles of Arabic calligraphy. Booking is essential. Maybe we'll bump into each other there!
And for those who'd like a brush with calligraphy from the comfort of a comfortable sofa, here are book titles that have calligraphy involved one way or the other in their plot. Enjoy!