Sunday, May 27, 2007

Renowned Iraqi calligrapher killed in sectarian violence



It's official now: Khalil Al-Zahawi known as the Iraqi "elder of calligraphers" (shaykh al-khattatin) was killed outside of his house in Baghdad (mostly Shiite district of "New Baghdad") by a group of unknown armed thugs. It's believed that this is a sectarian crime (Al-Zahawi is known to be a Kurd and he was probably Shiite). Al-Zahawi has been known for his Persianate oriented style (pseudo-ta'liq script).

Here is a short biography (Ar.) pointing out notabely that he was trained by the Iranian calligrapher Zerin in 1975 and that he then "invented his own style" with his own school and gallery in Saddam's Arts Center of modern arts.

More details are found here in a recent interview (Ar.)

Some of his works could be found here

7 Comments:

At 8:07 PM, Blogger Zachariah said...

Thank you for posting and showing respect for this man. I am an American calligrapher with a deep respect for the Islamic styles.
Is there a place to read his interview in person?

 
At 2:43 AM, Blogger Tarek Kahlaoui said...

Hi Zacharian.... that's the least one can do... But I did not quite understand your question? could you explain more please... here is my email for better communication
tkahlaou@sas.upenn.edu

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger visualdhikr said...

May Allah preserve him. What a great loss.

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger ansar said...

its such a sad loss.. a wealth of knowlwdge passes away. may Allah (swt) bless him. amee.

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger hethre said...

Can you suggest some books of his work or more online sources? all the news reports talk about his death, but there are very few examples of his work.

I have been looking for a piece of art that I once saw on CNN (or some equivalent) at the beginning of the occupation. It was reported to be hanging in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces. It was a piece of calligraphy that formed the shape of a peace dove.

I have not known where to begin to look for this, or other contemporary calligraphy works of art. The only arabic calligrapher I am familiar with is Rumi...

 
At 4:56 AM, Blogger Tarek Kahlaoui said...

@visualdhikr and ansar: indeed... BTW visualdhikr I went by your blog and your work is interesting as well...
@hethre: In his his shor biography that I mentioned there is a note about his books... they are all written in Arabic... as for his work I already put a link for that (the last one)...
As for the works of other modern calligraphers there is this link to a series of exhibitions photographs:
http://www.splart.net/forum/lofiversion/index.php/f55.html

 
At 2:10 AM, Blogger Marc Manley said...

السلام عليكم

I am very sorry and sad to read this. Such a waste of people's lives. Thanks for the post.

رحمه الله

 

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