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Meet Fatima Rehman keeping Arabic Calligraphy alive in Computer age

Sunday March 19, 2017 8:38 PM, & Agencies

Fatima Rehman
[Fatima uses pens designed from bamboo sticks, which are coated with petrol to protect them from damage and termites. (Photo: Dubai Post)]

Fatima Rehman, from Pakistan, believes Arabic calligraphy is a dying art that needs a new lease on life, despite new-age computer software offering people the chance to master it. What is missing is the human touch, she explains.

The enterprising mind gives calligraphy lessons to people of all ages and nationalities.

"Sometimes, non-Arab students come to my classes and they surprise me with their familiarity with Arabic letters, their pronunciation and the meaning", she said while talking to Dubai Post.

"My mother noticed my talent in my early years, when she bought me colouring books", she added. "She tried to develop this talent by taking me to museums and theatres around the world."

Fatima uses pens designed from bamboo sticks, which are coated with petrol to protect them from damage and termites.

Arabic calligraphy, is the artistic practice of handwriting and calligraphy, based upon the Arabic language and alphabet. It is known in Arabic as khatt (خط), derived from the word 'line', 'design', or 'construction'

Calligraphy also requires a special type of paper that takes a long time to make.

"These sheets comprise a large number of layers that are fused in an elaborate process to ensure that there are no impurities that will hinder the writing process," she said.

Fatima considers calligraphy one of the most difficult arts, which she has studied for several years until she was able to master it.

"This art is part of my heritage and my culture, and will live forever", she asserted.

Though there are still people who prefer Calligraphy over texts compiled using specialised Computer Software, Fatima's efforts are appreciable as with the invent of computers and availability of Arabic Software embedded with suitable fonts, most of the writing and printing works are being done using the latest technology.

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