Exlplore the art of the written word at Misk Art 2018

The gallery presented visitors with the dynamic curls and swirls of the written word that characterize Arabic calligraphy. (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)
Updated 04 November 2018
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Exlplore the art of the written word at Misk Art 2018

RIYADH: The spellbinding beauty of exquisitely scripted words set against white walls was almost overpowering at the Arabic Calligraphy Gallery that ran as part of Misk Art 2018 in Riyadh.

The gallery presented visitors with the dynamic curls and swirls of the written word that characterize Arabic calligraphy — some of the pieces on show featured whole verses of the Qur’an, while others were smaller, more delicate works.

The exhibit, which will close its doors on Saturday, was curated by Fahad Al-Mujahidi, a calligrapher who was mentored by a renowned calligraphy artist in Turkey, Hassan Jalabi.

“We picked the calligraphy works based on its artistic value,” Al-Mujahidi told Arab News.

“We picked the most prominent calligraphers in the world — from Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia,” he added.

 (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)



When asked what his favorite piece in the gallery was, he said: “They are all close to my heart, but my favorite would be the ones by Daud Baktash,” a Turkey-based artist who is widely considered a master calligrapher.

“One of the most difficult Arabic handwriting (forms) is Al-Thulth then Al-Naskh,” Al-Mujahidi said, referring to two of the many different recognized styles of Arabic calligraphy. “I am specialized in both. It is a rich art and we continue to learn its trade.”
Seventeen calligraphers showcased their masterpieces in the exhibition, including Mohammad Farouq, Muthana Al-Obaidi, Ahmad Fares and Mohammad Özçay among others.

 (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)


Although Misk Art 2018 has wrapped up, art aficionados will still be able to see the final creations of the Misk International Sculpture Symposium. Curated by the Saudi sculptor Ali Al-Tokhais, the event sees 21 artists from 13 countries gather in the capital to create original art pieces out of locally sourced marble blocks over the space of three weeks.

Misk Art 2018 also featured a special exhibit curated by Jeddah-based Athr Gallery — a contemporary and modern art fair that showcased eight Saudi galleries in a diverse exhibition of local creativity.

Another section, titled Every Possible Angle, presented audiences with fresh and unexpected forms of technology-driven art.


A starry night at the 40th Cairo Film Festival

Updated 21 November 2018
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A starry night at the 40th Cairo Film Festival

CAIRO: The stars of Arab cinema walked the red carpet at the opening of the 40th Cairo International Film Festival on Tuesday night and there were plenty of glittering gowns on show.

Orchestrated by Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy, who at just 43-years-old is said to be the youngest president the festival has seen, the Cairo Opera House-based event was attended by stars from across the Middle East and North Africa.

Set to run from Nov. 20-29, the festival opened with the regional premiere of Peter Farrelly-directed comedy drama “Green Book,” starring US actors Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.

The festival will include 16 world premieres and screenings of 160 films from 60 countries.

Meanwhile, on the red carpet, Egyptian actress Nelly Karim and Tunisian star Dorra Zarrouk looked glamorous as they posed for photographs on Tuesday night.

Karim wore a black leather dress by designer Mohanad Kojak, while Zarrouk wowed onlookers with an opulent design by Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad. The black ballgown was embroidered with golden flowers and leaves and also featured a daring high split.

Egyptian actress Nelly Karim wore a leather dress on stage. (AFP)



Seven Egyptian films will be screened during the festival, including “Leil Khargi” (External Night) — a film that will compete for the coveted Golden Pyramid Award.

The other Egyptian films on the itinerary are “Garemet Al-Immobilia, “Ward Masmom” (Poisonous Roses), “Kilo 64” and “La Ahad Honak” (The Giraffe).

Other films set to be screened at the festival include “Heaven Without People,” a provocative film that is the debut feature-length work of director Lucien Bourjeily; “Laaziza,” in which Moroccan writer-director Mohcine Besri tells the moving story of Laaziza, a troubled mother who is faced with the difficulty of welcoming back a man who once rejected her and “Fatwa,” which explores radicalization and its horrors.

Egyptian actress Sherine Reda took to the stage. (AFP)



The festival’s jury committee is headed by prominent Danish film director Bille August, who has received the Cannes Film Festival’s Palm d’Or award twice.

The festival has also added a People’s Choice Award for the first time in its history, with the prize money amounting to $20,000 for the film that gets a majority vote from the audience. A new award entitled “Best Arab Film,” with prize money of $15,000, has been added to this year’s festival as well, according to Al-Ahram newspaper.
Signs of a revamp in the festival include the attendance of executives from such international powerhouses as HBO, Netflix, France’s Gaumont, Participant Media and Middle Eastern players OSN, Front Row Distribution, New Century Productions and Aroma Studios.