Modern Arabesque, in collaboration with Khawla Art & Culture Foundation, established Al Khatt Festival in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on the St. Nicolas Gemmayzeh Stairs.
The exhibition, which lasted for three days in a row from July 9 to 11, brought life back to this area, which was shaken by the explosion that rang out on August 4th.
And in the presence of the Chargé d'Affairs of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Lebanon, Mr. Fahad Al Kaabi, the festival was opened with a speech by Ms. Rayane Hakki, representative of the Khawla Art & Culture Foundation, followed by an artistic performance by the artist Maysa Jallad.
The festival includes four professional artists who decorated the exhibition with 24 paintings, they are: Fadi Al-Awayid, Rola Deliqan, Everitte Barbee, and Ghalib Hawila.
In Modern Arabesque, we interviewed the four artists, starting with Fadi Al-Awayid, the Syrian artist and professor of Arabic writing, who spoke about the types of Arabic calligraphy, its diversity, its energies, and its dimensions, Pointing out that globalization has clearly affected the Arabic language, so he stood up as a defender to preserve it in any way, and he is always keen, through his paintings, to convey a message, either easy or lined, and he also adopted the lettering methods, the Chinese style, and carvings. He considered the exhibition "a love letter from the Emirates to Beirut and a generous gesture from the Khawla Art & Culture Foundation, to restore life to Beirut in general and to Saint Nicolas' stairs in particular."
As for Rola Deliqan, the Lebanese girl who studied graphic design, she considered Arabic calligraphy a pillar of design and an art of its own, so she dived into the history and rules of Arabic writing and found that it’s a never ending progress and a never ending story. She adopted the Kufic style in her works, and considered that nothing is more beautiful than reading and hearing the words while they are drawn in front of you in an elegant manner.
What is striking in the exhibition was the presence of paintings by the American calligrapher Everitte Barbee, who has lived in Lebanon for more than ten years, and his works include religious, literary, cultural, and popular messages, and he is currently adopting the Diwani style.
All the way to Ghalib Hawila, whose works imitate “the human within the human,” and considered that this work is a window of hope for all the Lebanese and added, “We have art so that we do not die from the truth.”
The exhibition witnessed visitors from different Lebanese regions and several ages, and reached a local and regional success, as many media wrote about it, especially the Lebanese and Emirati media. The vision was to restore artistic life in Beirut to its previous era, and this goal was achieved thanks to the collaboration between the Khawla Art & Culture Foundation, Modern Arabesque, the 4 artists and all the audience that attended this amazing exhibition.
Mabelle Milane
Modern Arabesque