Fatima Rehman Keeping Calligraphy Alive
Fatima Rehman specialises in Arabic calligraphy, a form of art that only a few artists practice.
Fatima, from Pakistan, believes Arabic calligraphy is a dying art that needs a new lease on life, despite new-age computer software offering people the chance to master it.
What is missing is the human touch, she explains.
The enterprising mind gives calligraphy lessons to people of all ages and nationalities.
She says: ‘Sometimes, non-Arab students come to my classes and they surprise me with their familiarity with Arabic letters, their pronunciation and the meaning.’
She adds, ‘My mother noticed my talent in my early years, when she bought me colouring books.
‘She tried to develop this talent by taking me to museums and theatres around the world.’
Fatima uses pens designed from bamboo sticks, which are coated with petrol to protect them from damage and termites.
Calligraphy also requires a special type of paper that takes a long time to make.
‘These sheets comprise a large number of layers that are fused in an elaborate process to ensure that there are no impurities that will hinder the writing process,’ she explains.
Fatima considers calligraphy one of the most difficult arts, which she has studied for several years until she was able to master it.
She concludes, ‘This art is part of my heritage and my culture, and will live forever.’