This post is also available in: Italiano
We wanted to go back a little to the written language and, after talking to you about music, we went to interview one of the greatest promises of Arabic calligraphy in Italy. We have the honor to introduce you: Islam Said.
K: What are the roots of your love for calligraphy?
I: From an early age I have always loved Arabic calligraphy. The words of the Quran written in different styles and embellished always gave me serenity and peace.
K: Several of your works are in diwani jali, still one of the most appreciated in the world. Tell us a little about this incredible style and what it represents for you
I: The diwani style has always been my favorite, because it is more curvilinear, fleeting and “soft” to the eye, unlike other styles which are more rigid. The Jali, in particular, is a decorative style, which in the times of the Ottoman Empire was used to send particularly important letters from or to the Sultan, so few would have had the opportunity to read it, even in case of loss. It is in fact a very curved style full of intertwining words, but this is precisely the beauty of this style: You can fill forms of almost any type by inserting sentences or verses of the Koran written in that style.
K: We saw that you met Zaki Al Hashimi, one of the masters of this art in Istanbul. Tell us how it went
I: Before going to Istanbul I had discovered that an acquaintance of mine was a college friend of Master Zeki, and I was able to get in touch with him through that person. When I went to Istanbul last time, I had the pleasure of meeting him, and getting to know him in person. An immense person, and a great master of calligraphy. When I saw him he welcomed me as if he had known me for many years and we got to talk for a long time. Having never had a teacher who followed me along my path, I asked him for all the advice to be able to improve more and more, to one day become a calligrapher like him. It was one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had on this journey, and I still thank him for the time he dedicated to me and he still dedicates me to this day.
K: From your experience, how is Arab-Islamic calligraphy perceived in Italy?
I: Calligraphy, like Middle Eastern art in general, is still an almost unexplored field, so we should start spreading this beautiful art, first of all trying to convey the beauty of its meaning and its history, deeply engraved in Islamic culture.
We thank Islam very much for the interview, we have wanted to bring his art to our site for a while and we are even more excited that this happened during such a special week. Here you will find his social networks: