Maram Qaisi and Arabic-Islamic calligraphy

This article is also available in: Italiano

Today we are proud to introduce you to Maram Qaisi, one of the most interesting calligraphers on the Italian scene, in love with the art of her Jordanian roots.

K: What drew you to the art of calligraphy? How much did your origins influence you to discover it?

M: It all started when one day, 4 years ago, seeing some works of Arabic calligraphy on the net. Mom told me that, when she was at school, she had been taught a bit of khat and with a pencil she wrote a few verses of the Quran in calligraphy: it was love at first sight. I immediately looked for a tutorial on how to write in calligraphy and I began to copy.

Qaisi calligraphy
“فَفِرُّوا إلى الله” “Then hurry to Allah!” Surat adh-Dhariyat, 50

From that day on I started looking on the net for information about this noble art, but unfortunately I found very little. The spark that greatly helped me learn Arabic calligraphy was the calligrapher Eyas El Shayeb, resident in Milan, who gave me the tips to learn seriously, following meticulous and very precise rules and starting from the ruq’a style. At the moment I am also learning the diwani style.

K: What is your favorite style and which one do you dream of at night? Is there a story behind it or is it rather the aesthetic pleasure?

M: The style that excites me and moves me for its fascinating beauty and elegance is undoubtedly Thuluth, the most complicated of styles, the ultimate goal of every calligraphy student.

Qaisi calligraphy
Ginan جنان

Also in this case it was the calligrapher Al Shayeb who made me fall in love with this style; in fact he often composes works in Thuluth that are nothing short of grandiose.

K: Nowadays, more and more artists are being born in Italy and abroad who use this technique for very different works. In 2012, for example, the well-known artist eL Seed was criticized for decorating (on commission from the mosque) a minaret with a verse from the Quran written in his art.

Do you think this is a flash in the pan or a real problem for those who want to develop new styles?

M: I appreciate those who try to make a classic art such as Arabic calligraphy understandable and accessible to all, but I believe that this must be done with respect for the rules of khat; otherwise you leave the sphere of Arabic calligraphy and rather enter art as an end in itself.

Of the modern styles, however, I only share those that are based on classical calligraphy, not inventing from scratch.

K: What impact do you think the calligraphy can have on second generations?

Qaisi calligraphy
“وَلَوْ أَنَّمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مِن شَجَرَةٍ أَقْلَامٌ وَالْبَحْرُ يَمُدُّهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ سَبْعَةُ أَبْحُرٍ مَّا نَفِدَتْ كَلِمَاتُ اللَّهِ”

M: The impact it can have is considerable, and I sincerely hope that Arabic calligraphy in Italy will be known by many and that it will be appreciated for what it really is worth.

K: Would you like to develop a particular project with calligraphy? Where would you like to go by closing your eyes?

M: I don’t think about a specific project, but I’d like to spread this art above all in the culture to which I feel I belong most, that is to the Italian one. One way to reach this goal could be to organize calligraphy workshops open to all, to raise awareness.

Qaisi calligraphy
Ramadan Karim

As for me, my goal is undoubtedly to learn the Thuluth style, but the way to go is still long and uphill, but slowly, with a lot of patience and good will and with God’s help I hope to make it, in shaa Allah!

We thank Maram Qaisi again for the wonderful interview, you can find her on Instagram where she shows us her art daily. Follow us on our facebook page, Spotify, YouTube,Twitter and Instagram, or on our Telegram channel. Any like, sharing or support is welcome and helps us to dedicate ourselves more and more to our passion: telling the Middle East ..

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