Every art form, along with history trailing behind it, carries with itself prestige and curiosity. The ability of the art to send us into a state of bliss forms the crux of our life story, as it indirectly gives us a clearer perspective in knowing what we want. Every art form is beautiful because it generates a kind of self confidence and attitude which goes a long way in building a strong personality.
Calligraphy, which is known as the ‘Art of beautiful handwriting’, has over the years managed to gain prominence in certain parts of the world, with Turkey and Baghdad being on the lead. In the island of Bahrain, where Islam is the prime religion, can the beauty of the unique religion ever be complete without the adornment of its sacred verses in Calligraphy? Calligraphers are there everywhere, but dedicated and passionate calligraphers are very rare. “ Being an engineering student at the University of Bahrain, I was introduced to calligraphy during my school days by my teacher, who was himself a calligrapher, and now, it has been around 25-30 years, that I have dedicated my life towards Calligraphy,” Engineer cum Calligrapher Mohammed Al Khalidi shared with Weekender. He says, “I never consider Calligraphy as a profession. For me, the other name of love is Calligraphy. Whenever I am in a depressed mood, I never practice it as it will not turn out to be the way I perceive it to be. It is only when my mind is calm and composed; I am able to bring out the best in the form of my chosen art.”
Eid, the festival which marks the dedication and determination that was shown during Ramadan, not just spreads joy, but gives one a renewed energy and vigour to think new and embark on the journey of creativity. Speaking about his fondness and his expertise in Arabic and Islamic Calligraphy, Al Khalidi said, “Apart from these two areas of my forte, what appeals to me more is English Calligraphy. I love experimenting as I strongly believe it enhances your thinking capacity in bettering your craft.” Having designed cards for special occasions and for companies, it is his dedication that makes his fingers reach out to his calligraphic pens on a daily basis. Apart from creating designs, Al Khalidi has even coached a few and he feels happy, that slowly, step by step, Calligraphy is gaining recognition as a profession. He says, “Caribou Café in Riffa is the ideal place where one can see me coaching a group of people who have strong interest in Calligraphy and wish to convert their hobby into profession.”
A word to the young generation
Every art form is beautiful, but what makes its worth less is the level of attention that is devoted by the audience. On being asked the reason regarding the level of non acceptance of people of Calligraphy as a profession, the artist replies by saying, “Technology may have eased all our problems, but it has given birth to the ignorance of the knowledge of people regarding Calligraphy. Youngsters of today’s generation prefer tablets, mobile phones and PCs over learning and developing an art form. It is good to have knowledge about technology, but over attachment towards that has led to the decline of knowing more about different art forms.” To master something, determination, patience and perseverance is needed. “Calligraphy is a very beautiful art and I strongly feel, everybody should take the effort of knowing about this wonderful art. What I would like to say is that, nothing is easy in the beginning. It is only with extensive practice and sheer determination, can one master up anything they wish to desire. Always remember, every master was once a disaster, so build up your personality and confidence through calligraphy and win the world,” the artist signs off on a high note.