Beebee Laisa with one of her works. Jehan Kottiyal Hyder with her work in Riqqa style.
Hyderabad: At an exhibition of magnificent pieces of Arabic Calligraphy of internationally renowned Indian calligrapher Muqtar Ahmad and his students, the works of two young girls from Kerala and Bengaluru have become the cynosure of all eyes. Jehan Kottiyal Hyder from Kerala and Beebee Laisa from Bengaluru left visitors impressed with their Arabic calligraphy. Their creations were among nearly 200 ‘Tughras’ or works of calligraphy that were on display at the two-day exhibition at the auditorium of Masjid-e-Baqee in Hyderabad.
Muqtar Ahmad, who runs an Arabic Calligraphy training centre for youngsters in Bengaluru under the Institute of India Islamic Art and Culture said, Jehan Hyder was highly talented and a fast learner who has mastered Riqqa style of Arabic calligraphy in just four months. “She has done in four months what others will normally take a couple of years to do”. If she continues to practise like this, I am sure, she will be among the top Arabic calligraphers in the world. Her hand is very strong. After Riqqa she is now practising in Nasq”, said Muqtar.
Muqtar, who originally worked as a calligrapher in Bengaluru-based Urdu newspaper Salar for five years, developed his skills in Arabic calligraphy under the tutelage of world’s top calligraphers from Turkey and the Arab world. His other student who impressed all with her works in Hyderabad is Laisa, an M.Tech in communication technology from Bengaluru, who is practising Arabic calligraphy for the last two years. She is also a trained English calligrapher. Laisa has completed learning Thuluth style of Arabic calligraphy, and is now mastering the Nasq style. “My plan is to set up an institute to teach Arabic as well as English calligraphy, specially to girls. Unlike Turkey and Arab countries, we hardly have any women calligraphers in India”. she said.