Lana Kamel Komsany, Saudi director, scriptwriter, actress and theater coach

Lana Kamel Komsany
Short Url
Updated 02 August 2020

Lana Kamel Komsany, Saudi director, scriptwriter, actress and theater coach

  • Komsany completed her bachelor’s degree in theater from Northeastern University, Boston, in 2000, and has acted in and directed plays in Cairo such as “Al-Rahaya”

Saudi director, scriptwriter, actress and theater coach Lana Kamel Komsany took part in a Theater and Performing Arts Commission virtual conference in late July as part of plans to highlight Saudi talent, and reshape and strengthen the field.
Komsany discussed employing local talent and culture to produce high-quality contemporary theater that will represent Saudi Arabia internationally.
“We have an incredible mix of creatives, academics and experienced individuals. With proper collaboration and guidance, creative content can see the light,” she told Arab News. Komsany said that our local identity “is who we are and how we make art.”
“It’s a rich and complex identity, and deserves to be represented on stage locally and internationally,” she added.
Komsany completed her bachelor’s degree in theater from Northeastern University, Boston, in 2000, and has acted in and directed plays in Cairo such as “Al-Rahaya.”
She acted in and was part of the “Bussy” (“look“) initiative to shed light on women’s life stories.  
Komsany supervised the theater department at the Visual Arts Club in Jeddah and directed plays enabling children to create actual productions.
Komsany played a major role in talent training at the Saudi Aramco program for the enrichment of knowledge at the “1001 Inventions” exhibition in Jeddah and Riyadh.
Her involvement in the 2019 Jeddah season with “Ozwa Street” boosted her theatrical career.
She later opened a private studio called I Stage, and created “I am Woman” as her first theatrical production as part of the activities of Dar Al-Hanan alumni on International Women’s Day.


Uthman Taha: ‘I wish the verses about heaven would never end’

Taha is the official calligrapher of the Qur’an at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. The 86-year-old is still in the recovery phase, his wife said, and has been advised to rest and to avoid stress. (Supplied)
Updated 15 August 2020

Uthman Taha: ‘I wish the verses about heaven would never end’

  • The Syrian Qur’an writer, regarded as one of the world’s finest calligraphers, is on the road to recovery following his recent hospital admission

MAKKAH: Syrian calligrapher Uthman Taha is in good health and recovering at home after a 13-day stay in a hospital where he was treated for what he and his wife initially suspected to be the novel coronavirus COVID-19, although he ultimately tested negative for the virus.

Taha is the official calligrapher of the Qur’an at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. His wife, Fatimah Umm Al-Nour, said Taha had a chest infection during his stay at the hospital and stressed that he had been “careful and took all the precautionary measures” and that he had not left the house for five months before his hospital visit.
The 86-year-old calligrapher is still in the recovery phase, his wife said, and has been advised to rest and to avoid stress. She praised his doctors, who have consistently checked in with the couple since Taha returned home, and added that she has tested negative for COVID-19 too.
Taha is regarded as one of the most skilled calligraphers in the Arab world. Al-Nour told Arab News that he continues to practice calligraphy daily.
Taha, who has written the Qur’an 12 times at the King Fahd Complex, was born in 1934 and attended school in Aleppo. His father was also a skilled calligrapher, who used the Ruq’ah script, and Taha studied with several of Syria’s finest calligraphers including Mohammed Al-Mawlawi, Mohammed Al-Khatib, Hussein Al-Turki, and Ibrahim Al-Rifai.
When he moved to Damascus for university, Taha began to learn other scripts, including Thuluth, Naskh (in which he is now considered a master), and Farsi. He received his calligraphy certificate from master calligrapher Hamed Al-Amadi in 1973.
He arrived in Saudi Arabia in 1988, and began work as a calligrapher at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. He writes the Qur’an in the Ottoman script, and copies of his work have been distributed throughout the Islamic world.
What makes Taha’s work unique is that each page of the Qur’an that he writes concludes at the end of a verse. The secret, he explains, is to simplify the words — which is the origin of the Kufic script in which the Qur’an has been written since the days of Prophet Muhammad’s companions — keeping the letters close to one another.
Taha spent years perfecting his technique of evenly distributing the words in every line so that the space between the lettering is consistent throughout every page of every book, which means eliminating many of the script combinations that make such consistency difficult.
He explained to Arab News that when he is working on his Qur’an calligraphy he is transported: “When I begin writing the Holy Qur’an, I resort to solitude to allow myself to be invested in the verses and their interpretation, forgetting about the world around me,” he said. “I wish the verses about Jannah (heaven) would never end, and my hand trembles when I write the verses about Jahannam (hell).”