For 14 days, a select group of calligraphers and artists from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey are gathering at the 2018 Madinah Forum for Arabic Calligraphy, under the patronage of Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman. This year’s event will see eight female calligraphers from Saudi Arabia participating.
The forum, which began on May 1 and is taking place at Hotel Pullman Zamzam, will have during its first week specialized workshops, activities, and enriching lectures with an emphasis on the vitality of Arabic calligraphy and the art prospects of Arabic letters.
As part of the program, there will also be participatory writing sessions held to introduce participants to the details of letter dissection, techniques that help in composing a work of art, and the constants and variables in the art of calligraphy. Contemporary art issues will also be highlighted at the forum and professional calligraphers will share their personal experiences with those in attendance.
The event aims to increase interest in Arabic calligraphy among the youth and to honor calligraphers who have made outstanding contributions in this field. On the sidelines of the event, a calligraphy exhibition will also be held.
From supporting art practitioners and producers at home, to showcasing the Kingdom’s cultural and natural heritage abroad, Saudi Arabia has been working towards developing its arts and culture sector. Earlier this year, for instance, Parisians were delighted by Saudi Cultural Days, a program highlighting arts and culture from the Kingdom, presented in the French capital by Saudi Arabia’s General Culture Authority and organized by France’s General Authority for Culture.
Saudi Arabia’s efforts to advance arts and culture in the Kingdom is a crucial part of its Vision 2030, a national plan through which it aims to diversify its economy. Over the past year, the Kingdom has been looking to its history, arts, culture, and landscape in order to develop its economy away from oil-dependency.