UNESCO recognizes Arabic Calligraphy as ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ – ARTnews.com

UNESCO added Arabic calligraphy to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The proposal was put forward by a coalition of 16 Arabic-speaking countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Palestine. They will create a report on their progress in supporting the art form next year.

The proposal, led by Saudi Arabia, has declared the years 2020 and 2021 the “Years of Arabic Calligraphy”, which includes promoting Arabic calligraphy to be included in the UNESCO list. In a statement released by the Saudi government, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, the country’s Minister of Culture, said: “We welcome the Arabic calligraphy inscriptions, as a result of which of the Kingdom’s championing of this precious aspect of authentic Arab culture. ”

A UNESCO statement describes Arabic calligraphy as “the artistic activity of handwriting Arabic script gracefully to convey harmony, grace and beauty”. Originally invented to improve the readability of the Arabic script, the form of writing became more complex as artists realized that by shaping the letters in different ways, they could create unique textures. The form has continued to evolve as artists use different mediums to create the calligraphic, including honey, black soot, saffron, and even spray paint.

Arabic calligraphy

An example of Arabic calligraphy made in Sudan, 2020
© Hassan Musa

In contrast to the world heritage sites recognized by UNESCO as tangible heritage, intangible cultural heritage refers to precious cultural practices. Games, hunting practices, dialects, culinary treasures and folk dances are included alongside more contemporary heritage practices. In Singapore, for example, hawker food has made the 2020 list as a repository not only of culinary practices but also of the community solidarity that these outdoor food courts offer in urban spaces. town. The coalition of 16 Arabic-speaking countries has also successfully lobbied to include falcons on this year’s list.

https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/unesco-arabic-calligraphy-1234613597/ UNESCO recognizes Arabic Calligraphy as ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ – ARTnews.com

Yasmin Harisha

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