ESFT   1/2019

 

Inventory Code for Element:

Specifying the element

Arabic calligraphy

Name of the element (as used by the community)

 

Other Name(s) of the element (if any)

Professional and amateur Arabic calligraphers from both genders and from different ages starting from 10 years, paper traders and workers who work in Takheer preparing the special kind of papers to write in it with Arabic calligraphy. Ink traders and makers in all its kinds, Spices and herbs traders from whom they bring the natural materials to prepare inks. Farmers who grow Boos and Reeds needed to make the Arabic calligraphy pens. Teachers and instructors of Arabic calligraphy in NGOs and public and private schools. Traders of threads which the calligrapher uses. Craftsmen who use the Arabic calligraphy in their crafts to write and decorate in many surfaces with variant materials such as alabaster, wood, cloth, metals( bruss, silver and gold), walls or with the golden threads.

Bearers of the element:

 

It spreads in all the rural, coastal and urban districts in Egypt, it is highly practiced in the rural areas as a Graffiti (writing on houses walls specially in the season of Haj pilgrim, in urban areas in many crafts, in coastal areas calligraphers writ on the boats and houses. In all governorates Arabic Calligrapher practiced as an art.

Geographic location of the element

 

Mohamed Boghdady, Nahla Emam, Mosaad Borsaeedy, Haytham Younis, Islam Noor, Adel Dawood, Khaled Megahed, Ahmed Sami, Mohamed Wahdan, Alaa Hasaballah, Khaled Metwaly, Eman Mazen, Mohamed Ebrahim.

Name of collector

  Cairo, Giza, Dakahia, Qena, Kalyobia, Sohag, Luxor, Sharkia and Aswan. Throughout 2009/2019

 

Place and date of collection

The informants and interviewed individuals from the calligraphers, instructors, traders, Arabic Calligraphy exhibitions and festivals organizers, traders and craftsmen freely provide all the information related to the art and crafts of Arabic calligraphy with a huge number of photos for their work. They provide their consent to include the data in the inventory and to inscribe it in the UNESCO lists.

 

Communities, groups and individuals consents to the information:

 

Egyptian Society for Folk Traditions (ESFT)

Established in: 12-4-2003 no. 1434

Accredited by UNESCO: 90183 IN 2012.

info@esft.info

Concerned specialized party

Name: DR. Ahmed Morsi

Address: 47 SOLIMAN GOHAR ST DOKKI - GIZA

Telephone: 202 37626702   -   202 37624409

amorsi9@yahoo.es

Responsible Person

Zain al-Din, N. (1968). Atlas of Arabic Calligraphy. Baghdad, Iraq: Iraqi Academy of Sciences.

 

Taher Al-Kurdi, M. (1938). History of Arabic Calligraphy and its Literature. Cairo, Egypt.

 

Naji, H. (1981). The first piece of its kind on calligraphy and book of Abdul Rahman Yousef Bin Al-Saigh, who died in the year 845 AH commented on by Hilal Naji. Tunisia.

 

Jumaa, I. (1981). The Story of Arabic Writing. Cairo, Egypt: Dar El Mareef.

 

Reda, A. (1914). The Message of Arabic Calligraphy. Al Marfan Printing Press, Damascus

 

Al-Bashliy, A. (1998). Jamal al-Khatt Al-Arabiy: dirasa Fanniya Tahliliya Talimiyya. Cairo: Dar A-Tala''i''.

 

Obada, A. (1990). Intishar Al-Khatt Al-Arabiy fi Al-Alam Al-Sharqiy wa- l-Alam Al-Gharbiy. Cairo: Maktabat al-Kulliyyat Al-Azhariyya.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Documentation

 

Signature

Contact Information

 

 

 

 

Application number:    

Application for registering intangible traditions - Egypt

 

 


 

Documentation

Scientific Name of the element

Arabic calligraphy

Description of the element (cf. Criterion N.1) (not to exceed 300 words)

What , who, where, how, when

Arabic calligraphy is a model for the fundamental relationship between intangible cultural heritage, nature and culture, changing from being a bearer of culture to forming a whole culture, whether it is a tool for teaching and recording knowledge and science, and before the printing press was based on the transfer of the "Warakeen" culture and they are currently the calligraphers. Arabic calligraphy based primarily, in the local communities, on natural materials from the environment, the community uses a pen made of "Reeds", a natural plant that grows on the edges of the water streams in rural communities, which is gathered by calligrapher or the craftsman and sometimes by the merchants, these pencils are polled in different measures and shapes to become an indispensable writing tool for the calligraphy even with the appearance of modern manufactured pens, and the calligrapher still deals with the pen or the blade in which it is written as a living object. It is divided into the parts; the pen tip, "the pods" Gelphah, and the greater the angle of inclination, the better, the literal term "the Qat", then followed by a part called the pen chest, and the literal is called "the body" El badan, in a clear simulation of the human body parts. The artist prefers the hard pen that dries on the tree so that it gets solid by nature "level on his father", and that the early cutting ( harvest) of the reeds makes it a little bit less solid and bending which make it miss an important feature in writing, which is hardness, and some calligraphers in the early days used the bird feathers as a pen for writing. The craftsman also created ways to process the papers so that they can be artfully written on them with special inks and varying sizes of paper they wish, This process is called "paper smear Takheer", using natural leaves such as bananas, and also uses natural materials such as "alum", egg white and starch, leaves the paper to dry in the sun from three to six months after which it is writable and by this process Tkheer the natural papers transfer to a paper which be able to write a calligraphy by the Arabic font on it, it is polished and free of pores, it is proven to be written with inks, and the paper is considered a basic condition for professional writing of the Arabic calligraphy, the calligraphers assume that writing on the this paper Mokahar lasts longer than writing on the ready or  ordinary paper, this paper gives a higher value to the written board in addition, one of the advantages of writing on this paper that errors in writing can be erased and modified in contrast to the coated paper that cannot be erased, as the defamation process involves the addition of thin layers on the paper to close the pores and that in case it wants to erase a layer of it could took off. International Arabic calligraphy competitions require that writing must be on Mokahar paper, that Mokahar paper adds high value to manuscripts, and that the value of old manuscripts is written on this natural paper with fixed natural inks. The calligraphers use inks made from natural materials such as Arabic glue, walnuts, rice, muffins, tea, sometimes saffron or glue, sugar and sometimes honey to add thickness and shine to the writing materials. There is a historic book mentioned the accurate

 ingredients to make ink with the measurements and all information about making every kind of ink for the calligraphers. In addition,

 calligrapher uses silk threads by putting it in the ink pot to act as a controller to prevent ink from spilling. Writing with these tools is a process that needs special sensitivity, skills and training. It also prevents ink from spilling, Learning Arabic calligraphy begins at an early age of 10 years, and the calligraphy does not require the knowledge of the reading and writing as it is dealt with as an art of painting of the character. In fact, some of the calligraphers are able to form and adjust letters, although they are not aware of the Arabic language rules. They also have the ability to choose the appropriate font type for the phrase to be written and called the "line weight" in a reference to its ton. There are writings in the Arabic line that use the character only without composing words and they are called "Hrofeen".  Arabic calligraphy in the villages is considered a naive art based on the artist''s spontaneous sense expresses that the character is a living being. The calligrapher chooses the type of font he uses in writing based on the word letters, but it does not require the Arabic language knowledge or writing primarily.

 

 Women practice as Arabic calligrapher, which is considered an income-generating craft in some communities. The village calligrapher depend on hand-crafted and natural materials for writing in Arabic and do the graffiti on the houses walls. In local communities from the folk habits is to celebrate the performance of the Hajj pilgrimage, which may be recommended for writing, and the expressions they want on the walls of the houses are written to mark the completion of the Hajj with some paintings and phrases of the event, which are drawn by the calligraphers of the village in most often, In the first place, they also used to write the date of the pilgrimage and how many times the Hajj did this ritual and write religious writings in places of worship. The calligrapher uses a brush designed with environmental materials, could be from the hair of a cow''s tail, a piece of wood, and a sheet of metal, with a writing material of Arabic glue and natural materials. The Arabic calligraphy at Sufi groups flags has symbolic function of these groups, that each group distinguishes itself with the flag of it mostly in Arabic letters and writings. The written Arabic character takes magic features by writing it with letters and phrases on some ritual tools and utilities such as "Taset el Khadah" which is a metal pan with Arabic calligraphy ingraved on it they used to put some water in it overnight and the sick person drink it in the morning seeking recovery from the fearness.

 

The line in some groups is so belief that the popular expression "dissolves the line" in referring to who knows reading the written line as if it is a magic which needs to be disagreed to know what it refers to.

 

The Arabic calligraphy traditionally varied in its kinds according to many aspects, one of them is the of is the purpose of its writing, as it allocated a type of official writing and a type of signature that varied according to the social status of the writer, then the calligraphy in which stories, tales and unofficial manuscripts were written. The calligraphy used for decoration and writing on houses of worship, homes, everyday uses and traditional crafts.

 

The Arabic calligraphy is written from right to left, and some of the calligraphers can write with the right or left hand. The Arabic calligraphy is spread among many Arabic-speaking and non-Arabic-speaking peoples, adding diacritical marks by non-Arabic-speaking cultures to Arabic characters so that they can be pronounce it.

 

Present function of the element

Sustained and currently practiced by communities, groups and individuals with an increasing support from the government by opening schools for Arabic Calligraphy and held competitions, exhibitions and festivals for it. A museum of Arabic calligraphy  paintings attracting more visitors. Many NGOs are concerning about it and support calligraphers in local communities.

 

Social and cultural functions:

Arabic calligraphy has many social and cultural functions, various crafts depends on Arabic calligraphy as a decorative art by engraving on metals (copper, silver or gold) and wood or by writing with the golden threads on cloth and many other materials which is a main income resource for the craftsmen. In many celebrations and social occasions people in the local communities use Arabic calligraphy, such as celebrating the pilgrim return and accomplishment of the pilgrim rituals by writing in his house walls by Arabic calligraphy welcoming him and the date of this holy trip and sometimes mentioning how many times he went which reflects also the social and economic status for the members of the society, these phrases are always accompany with drawing. Each Sufi group identify itself by a flag with certain color with Arabic calligraphy.

In local communities Arabic calligraphy written in some ritual utensils such a Taseet El Khadah which is metal bowl written on it some letters in a certain way, filled with water and kept overnight in the open air where it is exposed to the stars and in the early morning the person who has fear shock drink it to help him or to prevent the fear symptoms. In many social occasions the communities, groups and individuals use the Arabic calligraphy in their life cycle celebration, their rituals and elections so the calligraphers have a respectable status in the community and they believe that the beautiful calligrapher is always a door to wide livelihood, they say Calligraphy is a wealth for poor and a beauty for rich.

 

Written sources from books, references & archives

1.  Abdulrazak, F. A. (1990). The Kingdom of the Book: The History of Printing as an Agency of Change in Morocco Between 1865 and 1912. Ph.D. Dissertation. Boston University.

2.  Al-Alousi, S. L. (2019) Al-Lugha wa-l-Khatt al-Arabiy: Al-Nash''ah wa-l-tatawwur wa-Afaq Jamaliyyatih wa-Balaghiyyatih. Amman: Das Safa'' li-l-Nash wa-l-tawzi''.

3.  Al-Awwaji, M. (2000). Jamaliyyat Al-Khatt Al-Arabiy. Al-Riyadh: Dar Tuwaiq li-l-Nashr wa-l-Tawzee''.

4.  Al-Bashliy, A. (1998). Jamal al-Khatt Al-Arabiy: dirasa Fanniya Tahliliya Talimiyya. Cairo: Dar A-Tala''i''.

5.  Ali, W. (1996). What is Islamic Art? Mafraq, Jordan: Al-Bayt University Press.

6.  Ali, W..  (1997). Modern Islamic Art: Development and Continuity. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.

7.  Alnadji, K. (2001). Reforming Arabic Calligraphy for Computer Are and Design in Kuwaiti Art Education. Ph.D. Dissertation. Pennsylvania State University.

8.  Bauer, T. (1996). Arabic Writing. In The World''s Writing Systems, edited by Peter Daniels and William Bright, 559-564. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

9.  Bahnasiy, A. (1995). Mu''jam Mustalahat Al-Khatt Al-Arabiy wa- l-Khattatin. Beirut: Maktabat Lubnan.

10.   Dghir, C. (1990). Al-Hhurufiyah al-Arabiyah: Al-fann wa al-Huwiyah (Arab Letterism: Art and Identity). Beirut : Shirkat al-Matbuat lil-Tawzi wa al-Nashir.

11.   Damlouji, S. (1979) Al-Khatt Al-Arabiy. Dar Al-Muthallath: Bayrut.

12.   Ghulam, Y. (1982). The Art of Arabic Calligraphy. Lafayette, CA: Y.M. Ghulam.

13.   Hanash, A.  (2008) al-Katt AlArabiy wa-Hudud Al-Mustalah. Al-Kuwait: Wazarat Al-Awqaf wa-l-Shu''un Al-Islamiyya.

14.   Ja''far, M. (2002). Arabic Calligraphy: Naskh Script for Beginners. San Francisco: McGraw Hill.

15.   Khatibi, A. and M. Sijelmassi. (1976). The Splendour of Islamic Calligraphy. New York, NY: Rizzoli.

16.   Kofahi, Kh. (2014) Tawdhif al-Harf Al-Arabi fi al- Fann al-Tashkiliy Al-Urdiniy Al-Mu''asir. Irbid: Yarmouk University.

17.   Lings, M. (1976). The Quranic Art of Calligraphy and Illumination. London, United Kingdom: World of Islam Festival Trust.

18.   Lowry, G. D. (1986). Introduction to Islamic Calligraphy. In From Concept to Context: Approaches to Asian and Islamic Calligraphy, edited by Shen Fu, Glenn D. Lowry, and Ann Yonemura. Washington, D.C.: Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institute.

19.   Mahmoud, M. (1995). Durus fi al-hatt al-Araby. Dar Al-Qur''an: Jeddah.

20.   Mandel Khan, G. (2001). Arabic Script: Styles, Variants, and Calligraphic Adaptations. New York, NY: Abbeville Press.

21.   Naji, H. (1981). The first piece of its kind on calligraphy and book of Abdul Rahman Yousef Bin Al-Saigh, who died in the year 845 AH commented on by Hilal Naji. Tunisia.

22.   Obada, A. (1990). Intishar Al-Khatt Al-Arabiy fi Al-Alam Al-Sharqiy wa- l-Alam Al-Gharbiy. Cairo: Maktabat al-Kulliyyat Al-Azhariyya.

23.   Osborn, J.R. (2005). Islamic Calligraphy as Recitation: The Visual Expansion of Divine Words. Humanities and Technology Review 24 (Fall 2005): 15-30.

24.   Osborn, J.R. (2006). Islamic Traditions of the Book: Calligraphy, Performance, and Print.International Journal of the Book 3, 3: 33-8.

25.   Osborn, J. (2008). The type of calligraphy : writing, print, and technologies of the Arabic alphabet. UC San Diego. ProQuest ID: umi-ucsd-2027. Merritt ID: ark:/20775/bb3311454t. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/2fq2k8fc

26.   Reda, A. (1914). The Message of Arabic Calligraphy. Al Marfan Printing Press, Damascus

27.   Safadi, Y. (1979). Islamic Calligraphy. Boulder: Shambala.

28.   Salah, A. (1990). Al-Khatt al-Arabi. Baghdad, Iraq: Hamat.

29.   Schimmel, A. (1970). Islamic Calligraphy. Iconography of religions. Leiden, The Netherlands: E.J. Brill.

30.   Schimmel, A. (1984). Calligraphy and Islamic Culture. Hagop Kevorkian Series on Near Eastern Art and Civilization. New York, NY: New York University Press.

31.   Taher Al-Kurdi, M. (1938). History of Arabic Calligraphy and its Literature. Cairo, Egypt.

32.   Welch, A. (1979). Calligraphy in the Arts of the Muslim World. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Zain al-Din, N. (1968). Atlas of Arabic Calligraphy. Baghdad, Iraq: Iraqi Academy of Sciences

Audio-Visual Sources concerning the element

Archives, Museums or oral traditions

Archives of Folk Life and Folk Traditions

Private collections of individuals

Old films                         

Museum of the Center of Traditional Arts

Museum of Alexandria Library

Specifications of the element

Domains represented by the element

Skills and knowledge related to the handcraftsmanship.

?        

Material Aspects of the element

         Tools:

         Instruments:

         Materials:

         Costumes:

         Finished Product of the element:

Other:

Pens (many kinds starting from the one made from reeds and primitive materials to the manufactured ones), inks (from the combinations made by the calligraphers from natural materials like Arabic glue, honey, tea etc. to the manufactured ones). Papers ( any kind and the treated one for calligraphy Mokahar , and any other surface metal, walls, textile, woodetc. Silk threads.

 


 

 

Intangible Aspects

         Oral traditions:

         Customs:

         Beliefs

         Performing Arts:

Other:

There are: rituals and folk beliefs, habits and social practices, traditional knowledge, craftsmanship, oral traditions related to the Arabic calligraphy as it is practices in social occasions and the calligrapher beliefs that it is a gift from god, it is also included in the design of the patters in many crafts, combining natural materials to produce ink is a traditional knowledge circulate between the calligraphers orally and some is gained from the old books.

 

Situations where element is practiced

         Work:

         Celebrations & Rituals:

         Entertainment:

         Family traditions:

Other:

Arabic calligraphy appears in many local communities in various occasions in persons daily life and through aspects highlighting cultural diversity, some groups use it in wall paintings in the occasion of pilgrimage, and exists in many handcrafts varies by the diversity of the communities and its resources and local groups daily needs, and its forms reveals the beliefs diversity in the sufi groups as they use this forms as symbols for these groups. The different types of Arabic calligraphy reveal a diversity among calligraphers, beside, many artists use Arabic calligraphy in their paintings.

 

Means of transmission

In the local communities the element transmits from generation to generation through a system called Sabyanah apprenticeship from the craftsman to his assistance who helps him and observe what he is doing imitating him, there are many grades the assistance pass through to be recognized as a calligrapher in the community starting from the age of 10, first stage is to be a starter Bedaya which means beginner, then apprentice  and calligrapher assistant to reach the level of calligrapher.

Some of the professional calligraphers in the workshops dont give the secret of the craft to the beginners easily and let him acquire it through observation, there was a calligraphers used to learn the trainee how to write in Arabic calligraphy and breaks the pencil nib after the class so that he can not use it with the same specifications as the pen nib and adjusting it considers one of the special skills that differs from calligrapher to another that he do sharpen the pen nib by himself to meet his specific way of writing, considering that the pen nib is the secret of the Arabic calligraphy lies under the pen nib and the one who owns this secret can reach the highest level on it. There is a stage in Arabic calligraphy decoration by gold goldening by dissolving the gold sheets and use it to fill between the letters with especial decorative patters, the calligrapher normally keeps the secret of preparing this golden solution in a very narrow circle, some of the traditions are kept to be known only by the professional calligraphers. A calligrapher found that using garlic in the glass surface make it rough enough to be written on it.

There are other ways of transmission for calligraphy; such as the systematic schools which most of its students are girls, these schools started in Egypt in 1921. Also the element transmitted through the workshops organized by NGOs and calligraphers bonds for Arabic calligraphy and some initiatives from the calligraphers to teach children Arabic calligraphy and improve their handwriting.

There is a customary certificate given to the calligrapher has a local name Ejazah which is a certification authorizing its holder to transmit the skills of calligraphy issued by someone he is having this certificate. The ejazah implies that the student or trainee has acquired this knowledge from the issuer of it through first hand oral instructions, it always contains the name of the issuer and who gave him himself the certificate in a chain of issuers, it is usually issued in a narrow circle that its holder has the right to certificate others which they consider a great responsibility. The Ejazah holder must be qualified in many kinds of Arabic calligraphy, at least its main three kinds.

 

 


 

Safeguarding Measures

Present Condition of the Element

Sustained and currently practiced by communities, groups and individuals with an increasing support from the government by opening schools for Arabic Calligraphy and held competitions, exhibitions and festivals for it. A museum of Arabic calligraphy  paintings attracting more visitors. Many NGOs are concerning about it and support calligraphers in local communities.

 

Current and recent efforts and measures to safeguard the element

 The continuity from individuals from different ages of both genders to learn the arts of Arabic calligraphy and mastering in it by enrolling in its schools and NGOs and engaging in its workshops are evidences of the keenness of the communities, groups and individuals to safeguard and sustain the Arabic calligraphy as an intangible cultural element by using it in their occasions and daily life.

Local communities still provide work opportunities for calligraphers by hiring them in their life occasions, for example the pilgrim welcomed by writing in Arabic calligraphy on the walls of his house and sometimes he recommends to hire a specific calligrapher to decorate his house before leaving in his holy trip due his skills and talent.

There are many initiatives by the local communities for adults and children to learn Arabic calligraphy, a calligrapher launched an initiative under the name Tiny Calligraphy for kids to encourage them to start learning this art. Women calligraphers are keen, as mothers, to encourage their children to learn Arabic calligraphy at an early age which ensure the viability of the element.

The Arabic calligraphy museum is a personal museum contains huge number of  Arabic calligraphy paintings for a calligrapher opens its doors for visitors and trainees of Arabic calligraphy offering them materials and advices.

The Arabic calligraphy museum is a personal museum contains huge number of Arabic calligraphy paintings for a calligrapher opens its doors for visitors and trainees of Arabic calligraphy offering them materials and advices.

Participation in international exhibitions with paintings of Arabic calligraphy by the calligraphers safeguard the element.

 

One of the major procedures concerning the safeguarding is the periodic exhibitions and festival where Current and recent efforts and measures to safeguard the element (by the communities):

calligraphers and craftsmen from all over the world can meet. Attendees are not limited to Arabic speaking countries, but also for everyone that regards the Arabic calligraphy as a decorative element that can be utilized artistically. Other measures include:

 Organizing International competitions for the arts of Arabic calligraphy

State celebration and rewarding of existing calligraphers.

 Organizing kids friendly events to encourage the youth to learn about Arabic Calligraphy.

Establishing new schools for teaching Arabic Calligraphy for both genders

Encouraging and supporting NGOs concerned with the protection of Arabic Calligraphy

Organizing workshops for amateurs

Encouraging handcrafters in different crafts to utilize the element in their designs using different materials

Producing documentaries and publishing books about Arabic Calligraphy and bios of its prominent bearers

Joining international festivals and exhibitions

Endangering factors of the safeguarding of the element

There are no laws or legal constraints that endanger the element, but there are many factors hindering the transmission of the element:

The use of modern life technologies like computers and large scale printers decreased the importance of the bearers of the element for the daily life writing, still it is an art with high demand.

The wide spread of cheap printed products affected traditional handcrafts that combine their products with Arabic calligraphy like Kheyamya ( patch work), Serma ( embroidery ) , and metal engraving with calligraphy (copper, silver and gold).

The low profit generated from working as a calligrapher and other related crafts discouraged youth from learning them and hence transmission within families was hindered.

 

Suggestions for protecting the element (procedures for protection)

Encouraging more initiatives supporting  teaching and enhancement of Arabic calligraphy for people from all ages or both gender.

More encouragement for NGOs working on safeguarding Arabic Calligraphy.

Organizing childrens competitions in schools for Arabic Calligraphy.

Raising awareness about treated paper ( Mokahaar ), its value. and ways to prepare it through workshops

Cover bearers (calligraphers and craftsmen) with social and health insurance

Introducing Arabic Calligraphy studies in universities (art faculties).

Protecting bearers products with copy rights laws.

Creating a network between calligraphers and handcrafters for knowledge exchange.

 

Cooperation of local community

Names of informants and professional practitioners

 

Description of groups institutions individuals - organizations of practitioners or participants of the element

Professional and amateur Arabic calligraphers from both genders and from different ages starting from 10 years, paper traders and workers who work in Takheer preparing the special kind of papers to write in it with Arabic calligraphy. Ink traders and makers in all its kinds, Spices and herbs traders from whom they bring the natural materials to prepare inks. Farmers who grow Boos and Reeds needed to make the Arabic calligraphy pens. Teachers and instructors of Arabic calligraphy in NGOs and public and private schools. Traders of threads which the calligrapher uses. Craftsmen who use the Arabic calligraphy in their crafts to write and decorate in many surfaces with variant materials such as alabaster, wood, cloth, metals(copper, silver and gold), walls or with the golden threads.

Organizations that take care of the element/practitioners; i.e. NGOs, syndicates (if available)

Ministry of education, Ministry of culture, Egyptian Society for Folk Traditions, Nubian Society for Folklore, Pen Foundation, Arabic calligraphy museum, Arabic calligraphy school.

 

Contribution to ensuring visibility and awareness and to encouraging dialoguge

Documenting Arabic calligraphy demands working with NGOs concerned with intangible cultural heritage, as well as with civil associations and museums Concerned with Arabic calligraphy all with the local calligraphers and artists. The proposal to document the element was presented transparently to all individuals and concerned groups and field work was initiated to collect all field data relating to the element with the assistance of the masses of the calligraphers who are connected by networks of communication. The Arabic calligraphy practitioners from both gender were able to provide researchers with data about materials related to the Arabic calligraphy, so that the kinds of ink they use and how they prepare it, pens, craftsmen from both gender were contacted in the different crafts that use the Arabic calligraphy in crafts. Many Arab calligraphy schools throughout Egypt have also been visited and field interviews with its pioneers to prepare an inventory of the element and to update its data on the traditional crafts that adopt the Arabic calligraphy as one of the symbols used in decoration. The team also met with individuals in the local communities who were keen to decorate the walls of the houses by writing in Arabic calligraphy in different occasions.  Wide participation of communities, groups and individuals in the conservation of the element, all stages of the documenting the element have ensured the participation of individuals concerned with the element, teachers and instructors in the Arabic calligraphy schools devoted time on the day to explaining the idea of the documentation, the importance of the  inclusion of the element on the inventory for the preservation of the intangible cultural heritage which created a state of enthusiasm among individuals with the nomination, they also took the initiative to create groups on social networks to communicate with each other to follow up the documentation of Arabic calligraphy and put their contribution on it by sending huge number of photos for their work in Arabic calligraphy, some send photos of the walls of their houses where the Arabic calligraphy presents as a celebration of especial occasion. The process of documenting, at all stages, done with the participation and enthusiasm of those concerned with the elements of the calligraphers, craftsmen, NGOs, the civil associations of the calligraphers and the Arab calligraphy Museum, which

is a personal museum that gathers the works of one of the most famous calligrapher who considered the master of calligraphy and it is frequently visited by many Arabic calligraphers from all nationalities.

Restrictions (if available) for using the data of the element

No constrains in transmitting and practicing the art of Arabic calligraphy in communities, Using Arabic calligraphy to decorate worship places for people from different religions is an indication for the mutual respect among groups and individuals in the communities concerned with the element. Both gender from different ages practice this art. Many crafts use Arabic calligraphy without any constrains, on the contrary people are encouraged to include it in their designs. 

 

Respect for customary practices governing access

There is no aspect of the Arabic calligraphy is not compatible with the international human rights instruments since individuals practice it as an art depends on personal skills and direct training with the respect and appreciation relationship between the instructor and the trainees. No violence for human or environment by anyway in the art of Arabic calligraphy, that it uses safe and organic materials in most of processes which implies the sustainable development by using natural plants tike reeds boos grows naturally on the edges of the water streams as pencils and natural organic materials to prepare the writing papers and inks which reflects the local communities consideration for the sustainability of the environmental natural resources used in Arabic calligraphy.

Arabic calligraphy practice by individuals from both gender and different ages who can be engaged in the same class working together in a positive situation exchanging knowledge and materials and showing a high level of co-operation and far from competition, moreover the element playing a role in transmitting ethics and positive norms as there is no negative phrases written by this art which guarantee peace, respect and human rights.

Using Arabic calligraphy to decorate worship places for people from different religions is an indication for the mutual respect among groups and individuals in the communities concerned with the element.

Arabic calligraphy is a reason behind the sustainability of many handcrafts uses it with various materials as decorative motifs. Calligraphers from both gender has a respectable status in their communities and that emphasizes the respect of element.