In Conversation with Silsal’s Calligrapher, Tareq

1. Can you remember when your interest in calligraphy began?

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My interest in Arabic calligraphy began when I was a young child. I remember my mother would always remind me to keep an eye on my handwriting and encouraged me to master it perfectly. Then, when I was studying in the UAE, my Arabic teacher was so impressed with my handwriting, she showed it to my classmates as the perfect example – that moment really encouraged me to follow and nurture my interest. With that in mind, I would like to thank that teacher, Mariam Aldoukhan, for inspiring me 30 years ago, because I am still living and breathing my passion for calligraphy.

2. What is it about calligraphy that continues to inspire you more than other art forms?

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Arabic calligraphy is part of my soul and spirit – when I draw I feel at peace. My passion continues to grow the more I explore calligraphy, and since Arabic is my mother tongue, I am surrounded by it in all aspects of my life.

3. What is your favorite style of calligraphy?

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Every single style of calligraphy has its own unique charm. Diwani and Thuluth particularly captivate me, as these two styles have unlimited flexibility, which makes me see a world of options and opportunities, which is very exciting!

4. Do you feel like the tradition of calligraphy and calligraphic art is declining or rising?

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In recent years there has been great interest in handwritten Arabic calligraphy – from non-Arabs in particular, which I find very exciting. Their interest, like mine, lies in handwritten calligraphy, rather than computerized scripts. However, I do believe there are fewer people interested in learning the art of handwritten Arabic calligraphy, although there is a huge market which values this art form and loves to buy handwritten pieces – which is brilliant news for artists!

5. Silsal is bringing calligraphy into the everyday home. Why is this so important?

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Silsal makes Arabic calligraphy accessible to all, bringing it into the hearts and homes of its customers. By applying calligraphy to everyday products, Silsal is reviving our age-old tradition, and attracting attention from the younger generation. In addition, they do a huge amount to support the calligraphic arts.

6. What is your favorite piece of calligraphy you have done for Silsal?

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Each and every piece I draw holds a part from my soul in it. But honestly, everything I do for mothers is very special to me, as I always relate it to my own mother, who I love and respect greatly.

Silsal