The Ministry of Culture in Saudi Arabia announced this week that it will be extending the year of calligraphy into 2021 over coronavirus concerns. “Due to the exceptional circumstances, and what the world is witnessing in the coronavirus pandemic, the Year of Arabic Calligraphy 2020 has been extended into 2021. We will overcome this crisis and continue to fulfill our dreams,” the Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan tweeted.
Saudi Arabia is working on registering Arabic calligraphy on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Sixteen Arab countires are participating in a workshop and coordination meeting on calligraphy hosted by the Saudi Ministry of Culture in partnership with #ALESO. pic.twitter.com/uI6RrOgBfd— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) February 3, 2020
In response to the Ministry’s decision, Saudi calligraphers took to Twitter to share their artworks coupled encouragements to abide by the lockdown and #stayhome.
The year of calligraphy is celebration of this major artistic asset in Saudi identity and culture. It’s also a point of reference for artists all around the world fascinated with this Arab discipline.
2020 will be the “Year of Arabic Calligraphy,” according to the Saudi Minister of Culture. The year will celebrate the aesthetics, history, and importance of the ancient art. pic.twitter.com/o4mRwLbcbp— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) December 19, 2019
The ministry’s official spokesman, Abdulkareem Al-Hameed, said that postponing the yearlong event is the best way to live up to its potential.
“The impact of the current circumstances and the Kingdom’s efforts in limiting the spread of the coronavirus necessitated the postponement of many cultural events organized by the Ministry of Culture,” Al Hameed said.