Arabic Calligraphy Virtual Event and Workshop on Sept. 17

The Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures in collaboration with the King Fahd Middle East Center and the School of Art is hosting an Arabic calligraphy virtual event and workshop on Friday, Sept. 17. This event is open to the public, and the virtual lecture is open to all majors.

Virtual Lecture

10-11 a.m. — Open to All Majors

This lecture will provide an overview of the Islamic calligraphic tradition, the training process for calligraphers and the traditional materials used in this art. Participants will look at the fundamental aesthetic ideas of divine beauty that have driven Islamic calligraphy since the revelation of Islam, the major schools of calligraphy that emerged and how calligraphers received their training. Different tools, papers and pigments will be examined, and the lecture will close with a look at the current state of the calligraphy world and the contemporary trends and movements within the field. 

To attend the virtual lecture, please Join By Zoom at 10 a.m., Sept. 17.

Calligraphy Workshop

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Open to students of graphic design, art education and Arabic studies

The workshop will be held virtually from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will be a short hands-on workshop with Josh Berer, master calligrapher. Students will get a chance to try some lettering and begin to get a feel for how the bamboo pen moves across the paper. Supply kits will be provided for participants to pick up before the workshop, and seats are limited. Registration is required for the workshop.

Workshop Registration

School of Art students: Contact Alison Place at
Arabic Studies students: Contact Rania Mahmoud at

About the Calligrapher: Josh Berer is a calligrapher and craftsman based in Washington, D.C. He is currently an apprentice of Mohamed Zakariya in the Ottoman calligraphic tradition. From Zakariya he received his ijazah [master calligrapher's certification] in the Thuluth and Naskh scripts in 2020, and is currently a student of Talik. He is also versed in the arts of papermaking, marbling, illumination, bookbinding and woodworking. He speaks decent Arabic, passable Persian and so-so Turkish, Uzbek and Hebrew. His clients include the Smithsonian, The New York Times, Harvard University, the Folio Society and many others. Berer's work can be seen at


Rania Mahmoud, assistant professor
World Languages, Literatures and Cultures


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