An exhibition depicting the evolution of Urdu calligraphy - one of the most ornate alphabet writings - from the confines of fine print into a high art form was inaugurated at the Jamia Millia Islamia by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the presence of the ambassador of Saudi Arabia in India, Saud Mohammed Al-Sati.
This exhibition, "Siasat's Urdu Calligraphy and Art Exhibition" is a collaboration between the Zakir Hussain Institute of Islamic Studies and the Daily Siasat of Hyderabad, 65-year-old Urdu daily known for its fine calligraphy.
Explaining the importance of calligraphy in Urdu arts, professor Akhtarul Wasay, the director of the Zakir Hussain Institute of Islamic Studies, said "Urdu calligraphy flourished as sole printed medium painstakingly crafted by calligrapgers before the arrival of the computer. The publishing industry depended on the services of the calligraphers to copy out books, documents and newspapers to print.
But the arrival of computers and customised alphabets have elevated calligraphy like to fine art - kept alive by the traditional writer, Akhtarul Wasay said.
Drawing the attention of Prof. Akhtarul Wasay, Dikshit said arrangements must be made to organize such exhibitions outside Jamia Millia Islamia campus. Wasay assured that he would organize this exhibition through Delhi Urdu Academy. Najeeb Jung, Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, presided over the inaugural function.
Arabic calligraphers Mohammed Nayeem Saberi, Shaik Mohammed Abdul Lateef Faroque, Syed Nasiruddin Viquar, and Abdul Naseer Sultan were present at the inauguration.
Diplomats from Iran and Algeria also attended the event.