To highlight young talents.. A Kuwaiti calligrapher establishes a group to spread the culture of Arabic calligraphy

Kuwaiti calligrapher Ali Al-Baddah founded the “Heritage” group, with the aim of spreading the culture of Arabic calligraphy to new generations.

Kuwait – Since his early childhood, the Kuwaiti calligrapher Ali Al-Baddah specialized in Arabic calligraphy, and spent nearly 45 years in this specialty, to increase his attachment to this art day after day, as well as his knowledge of the arts associated with Arabic calligraphy.

Al-Baddah finally decided to establish a group called “Heritage” that specializes in the art of Arabic calligraphy and the accompanying arts, in order to spread the culture of this art among young people in particular.
In an interview with Al Jazeera Net, Al-Badah reviewed the most prominent stations of his long journey with the art of Arabic calligraphy, and his tireless attempts to spread his culture, and the text of the dialogue follows:

One of the paintings of the calligrapher Ali Al-Baddah (Al-Jazeera)
  • How was the beginning of your journey with Arabic calligraphy?

Since I was young, I had artistic interests in drawing and music, and my love for calligraphy was because of my father, who worked as a school supervisor, and he loved calligraphy, which was taught in schools with the Arabic language. Research and follow-up, so I used to buy books from my daily expenses, and now I spend most of my time with them.

And I discovered the existence of great worlds in this art from schools, styles, and specialized senior professors, and after that I visited all book fairs, and I expanded my perceptions a lot, by traveling to other countries such as Iraq, Iran and Turkey to see the works of some calligraphers such as Youssef Thanoun, Muhammad Sayed Saqar, Muhammad Ozgay and Jalil Rasouli. .

On my travels abroad, I benefited from the observations of great calligraphers and trained on their hands. I benefited a lot from them, as they explained to me many secrets of the art of calligraphy that I did not know. I feel like I have experience in this field.

  • Does the calligrapher need talent or training to reach the required level?

I believe that God Almighty endowed all human beings with the same capabilities, and man raises his abilities in a certain aspect through his love for something, and this pushes him to develop his abilities in it, and then talent is not enough and needs to be learned and refined until it appears and develops.

  • What materials do you use in your paintings?

In my works I use any materials that can respond to the art of calligraphy, inks, watercolors and acrylics that correspond to the nature of the art of Arabic calligraphy, unlike oil colors, which are difficult to deal with, and the calligrapher who limits himself to inks is mistaken because in other materials there are many aesthetics.

The Golden Palm award in Muscat 2013 Source: Dedicated from him to Al JazeeraKuwaiti calligrapher Ali Al-Baddah (right) receiving the Golden Palm award in Muscat in 2013 (Al-Jazeera)
  • What are your most prominent local and foreign posts?

Kuwait has been represented in many foreign festivals and exhibitions, in many Arab, continental and international countries, but the most important achievement is two artworks in the office of His Highness the former Emir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, when the College of Fine Arts announced the request of one of the parties for some artworks, so it submitted 3 All works acquired by the Amiri Diwan, and I participated in local competitions at Kuwait University and the Islamic Summit Conference in Kuwait, and participated in the competitions of the GCC exhibition, and in 2002 I got the bronze Palme, and in 2013 I participated in the GCC Artists Forum in the Sultanate of Oman and won the Golden Palm.

I also participated in the Tehran International Calligraphy Festival in 2002, with the participation of 2,100 calligraphers from 48 countries, who presented 3,150 paintings, and I was selected among the top 30 participating calligraphers.
I participated in international exhibitions and conferences in the United States in 1996 at the University of “Hostel” in New York with a research paper and my work was displayed in the university’s museum, and I had participations in several countries such as Malaysia, Poland and Bosnia.

  • She launched with a group of calligraphers the “Earth” group. What is the purpose of that?

Together with a group of calligraphers and specialists in Islamic arts, I launched the “Earth” group, which aims to highlight the talents and energies of young people in Kuwait in this art, and the accompanying arts such as gilding, decoration, marbling, etc., and we launched specialized courses for adults and courses for children.

I wanted to unify the efforts of calligraphers in Kuwait, so I established the group, and we numbered 11 calligraphers (7 men and 4 women), including two who specialize in the art of Ebru. We held the first activity in February 2020 at the National Library before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, and last month we held courses at the Center Yarmouk Cultural House of Islamic Antiquities.

The purpose of the group’s establishment is to spread the culture of Arabic calligraphy, as this is our main goal. It is necessary for everyone to know about the art of Arabic calligraphy, and we want to establish a nucleus for an association that supports our work and our activity.

  • What is your role in this group?

I am considered the founder and general supervisor of the Irth Group for the art of Arabic calligraphy and the accompanying arts, and I have great experience in such matters, as I held several positions, including: the supervisor of Arabic calligraphy and decoration at Kuwait University previously, and professor of Arabic calligraphy and Islamic decoration at “Bait Lothan”, and a delegate professor. To teach Arabic calligraphy at the College of Basic Education, founder and general supervisor of the Beit Lothan Club for Arabic Calligraphy and Decoration, and a member of the Egyptian General Society for Arabic Calligraphy, and the Kuwaiti Society for Plastic Arts, as well as a founding member of the Art Triangle group “Aki”.

The artist Ali Al-Baddah looks at one of his paintings Source: Dedicated from him to Al JazeeraAl-Badah looks at one of his paintings (Al-Jazeera)
  • What does the line mean to Ali Al-Badah?

Arabic calligraphy is the most comfortable for me, as it has accompanied me for 45 years, and I could not stay away from it, despite my suffering and problems because of that, and calligraphy is the art in which I find my personality and my pleasure, and it represents my Arab and Islamic identity, and it is an oppressed art that needs great efforts to restore its glow.

  • What is your message to the younger generation?

Young people must have an affiliation with their history and cultural heritage. The civilization that left us with creativity must cling to its legacy and not leave it and run after the arts of other civilizations. Calligraphy has a great impact even in Western arts, and many Westerners who learned Arabic calligraphy entered the Islamic religion because they were influenced by it. .

It is noteworthy that the calligrapher Ali Al-Baddah has many researches in the art of Arabic calligraphy, most of which were published in the Arabic Letters magazine specialized in the art of Arabic calligraphy.

He prepared and presented 92 episodes on the art of Arabic calligraphy for Kuwait TV, called “The Magic of Letters” in 2019, and prepared a full study for the establishment of an institute for the art of Arabic calligraphy and Islamic decoration that was submitted to the General Secretariat of Endowments in 1997, and wrote many researches, articles and investigations in the art of Arabic calligraphy and decoration. He also prepared a complete file on the art of calligraphy in the State of Kuwait.

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