For centuries, Arabic calligraphy was diligently studied, faithfully reproduced and carefully refined by generations of master calligraphers, revered as the pre-eminent form of art in Islamic societies where figuration was rejected in favor of the beauty of the written word. Over the past two centuries, however, perceptions of calligraphy have changed. Often dismissed as “traditional” by those who champion contemporary media, it is increasingly perceived not as art but as artisanal decoration, an attractive means of conveying meaning. Lebanon’s foremost calligrapher Samir Sayegh has been battling this shift in attitude for decades.
Read More: The Triumph of Form Over Content