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Certified Calligraphers Pedigree: New initiative for a comprehensive database
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 01 - 07 - 2020

Under the sponsorship of Sheikha Khawla Bint Ahmed Bin Khalifa Al-Suwaidi, wife of Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE national security advisor, Khawla Art & Cultural Foundation has recently launched an initiative that aims to build a reference database of all distinguished, licensed calligraphers worldwide. The initiative was named "The Certified Calligraphers Pedigree".
Highlighting the elite calligraphers on the global arena, the Calligraphers Tree will branch out into various calligraphy arts, enlisting profiles of prominent calligraphers with their major works and who were the masters and students of each of them, resulting in an elaborate tree of references and lineages.
The first of its kind, this initiative came to use Khawla's foundation website as a platform to launch the world's calligraphy lineage tree, with the option to search by country and a gallery for each artist, making the tree a reference and a documented record for the progress of the art of Arabic calligraphy as seen through its major champions of licensed calligraphers.
The initiative started at the end of June 2020, with adequate data on 19 artists from eight countries: USA, Kuwait, Spain, India, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan. However, the tree is set to grow larger shortly, following its technical criteria and objectives of developing a knowledge and communication network for all calligraphy professionals and lovers of Arabic calligraphy and related arts.
Commenting on the launch of this initiative, Sheikha Khawla said, "The launching of this initiative came to meet an urgent need to demonstrate interest in Arabic calligraphy," while stressing that "This art is a precious treasure that has been greatly marginalized." She added that she aspires to "highlight the significance of this form of art and introduce its techniques and masters to the public, so as to revive this time-honored art. "
"One of the key objectives of this initiative is introduce this art to the new generations and to help, motivate, inspire and support young talents in this field," Sheikha Khawla concluded, drawing on the overall UAE policy of nurturing various forms of art and artists in general.
Herself a calligrapher, poet and pioneer in the field of culture and art in the UAE and beyond, Sheikha Khawla has sponsored and adopted various initiatives and projects in arts and culture including Khawla Art & Cultural Foundation, Khawla Cultural Majlis, in addition to numerous art exhibitions in several places inside the UAE and worldwide where she showcased her works that represent a mixture of art, literature, poetry and Arabic calligraphy, especially using the Jaly script.
Khawla Art & Cultural Foundation is based in Abu Dhabi, UAE and focuses on art and culture. It was established to spread awareness and raise public interest in classical arts, Arabic calligraphy, Islamic illumination, music, poetry and literature. Another key objective of the Foundation is to assist, train and hone the talents of young artists in the various domains of its work. — SG


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