Sharjah Department of Culture highlights Arabic calligraphy’s attraction through the ages at LBF 2022
The session ‘The New Rise of Arabic Calligraphy Under the Care of HH Sheikh Dr Sultan Al Qasimi’ and interactive workshops were well-received by visitors to the fair
Sharjah, April 8, 2022
Underscoring the importance of calligraphy in making Arab culture truly rich, the Sharjah Department of Culture (SDC) organised a series of interactive workshops led by Emirati calligrapher Khalid Al Jallaf to introduce visitors of the 49th edition of the London Book Fair (LBF) to the beauty and history of Arabic calligraphy.
Commenting on the participation in LBF, HE Abdullah Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman of SDC, said: “Sharjah’s participation emphasises the need for building cultural bridges through networking between Emirati and Arab authors, intellectuals and artists. SDC in particular focused on highlighting the beauty and history of Arabic calligraphy as well as the emirate’s efforts to support the art form. It showed how Sharjah utilises culture as a bridge between people and countries of the world.”
The department also organised a session titled “The New Rise of Arabic Calligraphy Under the Care of HH Sheikh Dr Sultan Al Qasimi” at the Sharjah Market Focus pavilion, where Al Jallaf highlighted the history of Arabic calligraphy in the golden period of the Islamic era and how interest in the art waned at the beginning of the 20th century until the UAE and Sharjah invested and rekindled interest in the ancient art form after the country’s formation.
The session, moderated by Mohammed Ibrahim Al Qasir, Director of Cultural Affairs at SDC, also saw Al Jallaf reviewing the impact of Islamic civilisation on the development and flourishing of the art form. He pointed out that Arabic calligraphy originated from the Nabataean script, and was developed by Arabs.
Al Jallaf said Sharjah’s interest in Arabic calligraphy under the leadership and support of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, is part of a massive cultural project. He noted that the emirate was the first in the region to establish a dedicated museum for Arabic calligraphy and organise various events and initiatives that made it a preferred destination for calligraphers.
He said: “The interest of Sharjah and the UAE in Arabic calligraphy throughout history shows the amount of care and support provided by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, who passed a decree to honour calligraphers and preserve their work, not only in the country but in the region and the world.”