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Mohammed Al Murr, Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation, seen while calligrapher Hakim Ghannam talks about his work during the inauguration of a grand art exhibition under the title of 'Al Owais Symposium on Arabic Calligraphy' at the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation in Dubai on Monday Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: More than 100 works of Arabic calligraphy by 63 prominent Emirati and Arab calligraphers are being showcased at an art exhibition organised by the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation.

Held under the title of ‘Al Owais Symposium on Arabic Calligraphy’, the one-month exhibition highlights how Arabic calligraphy has been transformed from a tool of communication and blossomed into an art form boasting various styles.

The event was inaugurated by Mohammed Al Murr, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation, at the foundation’s Grand Exhibition Hall, on Monday. Present were literary critic and author Abdul Ghaffar Hussein; Abdul Hamid Ahmed, Secretary-General of the foundation; Dr Fatima Al Sayegh, member of the board of trustees of the foundation; Khalid Al Jallaf, President of the Emirates Society for Arabic Calligraphy, and a large gathering of Arabic calligraphy enthusiasts and art collectors.

Varied styles

The exhibition showcases artworks representing different Arabic styles of writing, namely Al Kufi, Al Diwani, Al Naskh, Reqaa, and Nastaliq, which later inspired calligraphers to create other scripts. It highlights the great attention given by the foundation to authentic genres of art and reflects its ongoing efforts to introduce talents of similar expertise and approaches through art, with a view to presenting the bright image of the UAE and its authentic culture to the entire world.

Featuring 110 fascinating masterpieces and distinctive paintings, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey to see how Arabic calligraphy has evolved throughout history and showcase the beauty of Arabic calligraphy and the importance of preserving it and passing it onto generations to come.

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A seminar on ‘Calligraphy in the UAE over Half a Century’ was held on the sidelines of the exhibition, featuring Emirati calligrapher Khalid Al Jallaf and veteran calligrapher Taj Alsir Hassan who spoke about the development of calligraphy in the UAE.

The foundation will release a special book about the symposium, featuring pictures of the showcased artworks along with information about the participating artists, to highlight the significance of Arabic calligraphy as an art form that continues to evolve.

The door is open to art collectors at the exhibition, which continues until October 19.