Educating students about the art of calligraphy in the Arab, Ottoman and Persian world
One of my side projects has been managing and writing content for CalligraphyQalam.com, a website that introduces American audiences to the art of Arabic, Ottoman and Persian calligraphy. Developed in 2009 as my thesis project for the University of Baltimore’s Master of Fine Arts in Integrated Design program, the website aims to introduce students studying the Arabic language in the United States to the visual art form of Arabic, Ottoman, and Persian calligraphy. It includes a blog, a discussion forum, nine videos about calligraphy, and extensive image gallery, and detailed information about scripts, calligraphers, classes, and other resources.
In 2012, the Rubin Museum in New York City screened two of the films created for CalligraphyQalam.com, and in 2011 the Louvre purchased portions of my thesis video footage for a multimedia exhibit about calligraphy in their Islamic Arts wing (opened in 2012). My thesis website is also mentioned in the book, Art of the Islamic World: A Resource for Educators, published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2012.
Calligraphyqalam.com is, in my estimation, the most complete and informative website on the subject of calligraphy in the Arab, Ottoman and Persian world. I regularly refer people to this website because the information is clear and the content is well-organized and thorough. The website gives readers an overview of the traditional learning process for calligraphy, and goes into detail about tools and historical information on the various calligraphic scripts. Calligraphyqalam.com is a wonderful resource for students, scholars and anyone interested in this art form.-Wissam Shawkat, Calligrapher and Designer based in Dubai