Recently I’ve participated in Arabic calligraphy course organized by Deewan Institute for languages and cultural studies in Jabal Al Weibdeh, Amman. I have filled the form on their Facebook page. The course lasted 2 weeks, 3 times a week, 2 hours each class. The pricing was 50 JD + 5 JD for materials, or 10 JD + 5 JD for materials for attending any of the 2-hour sessions. They have started making sessions again, check it on their Facebook page.
We were focused on Ruq'ah (رقعة) handwriting type of Arabic calligraphy most of the time, the teacher Salah Hamdan was very flexible and patient, we were sitting comfortably by the group of 5. We were using both qalams – special bamboo pens and calligraphy markers of various sizes. I have enjoyed writing with qalam more, as it’s ink and the tool is sharpened in a certain way, so you always know how to hold it right, not the same story with the calligraphy marker.
Ruq'ah (رقعة) is a type of Arabic calligraphy with precised and straight lines and simple curves, one of the most popular script types.
In general, I can say I was the worst student in the group (!), and it was very refreshing, as I have accustomed to be good at what I’m doing. I’ve never tried calligraphy classes before and the whole experience was new for me. But that’s not the point: as a foreigner, I don’t see the beauty of Arabic as a native speaker sees it, all these swirls and twirls, the lengths of the tails and especially how round the shapes should be. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try yet Arab natives will get more benefits from this course, so if you have a local friend in Amman who you can persuade to participate with you, it would be 10 times more fun together.
We have tried Diwani style during the last lesson and if I’m dreaming to write Ruqaa writing style at a bearable level in the future, Diwani still seems to me as something not achievable, my hand is too clumsy for it!
Diwani style is a cursive style of Arabic handwriting, with more freedom and abstract spacing than Ruqa'a.
I’m satisfied with the course, I’ve always dreamed to try Arabic calligraphy, and it’s a good option to try it for a very reasonable price. I’ve learnt a lot of tips and tricks that I would not know if I have tried it by myself. I have learnt how to choose and sharpen qalams, and I’m still practicing Arabic calligraphy at home, it relaxes me even I’m not that perfect in it.
The whole atmosphere of Deewan Institute is very quiet and relaxing, they have a co-working space with nice light and comfortable environment for 5JD/hour.
Have you ever tried Arabic calligraphy? Let's discuss it in Instagram mylifeinamman.