Friday, September 27, 2013

Artistic Arabic

Asalamu Alaykom,

Arabic is everywhere I look.

Some of it washes over me like so much nothingness but some of it stands out as beautiful art.

I love utilitarian art.  It is the common worker's pause when they can't walk away from their efforts without embellishing.  I love when I can see that someone added a lovely flair to the ordinary.

There are so many signs I want to take pictures of.  Before, if I saw something wonderful, I would return to that spot with my camera and take a photo.  Now?  There's too much hate/fear of foreigners and too few of them around.  There's a lot of suspicion now of those who are different and "yes" it is different to appreciate a wall.

With my new phone, I can take pretty good pictures.  So, I think, for the time being, I will be posting photos from my phone NOT from my heavy duty camera.  These next photos were taken through a bus window as we sped past.

Okay, so this attempt wasn't so good but I tried again.

This shows some writing better.   For years, I used to think that the writing on the wall was advertising something.  NOPE!  It's some dude's name.  Oh, well.  He did write it with exceptional creativity.

You can also see The Great Pyramid peeking out from behind the trees.

Here's a better look at The Pyramid through my bus window.  Yes, I know I'm blessed to live so close to an Ancient Wonder of the World.  Alhumdulillah.

I also feel blessed when I see this:

This is one of those murals placed outside public schools.  Some are done better than others.  I have always loved this image of brotherhood between Muslims and Christians.  Though words have been added over time, the basic message has survived Coup 1 and Coup 2.  It gives me hope that people of faith will remain united in Egypt long after all the chaos has fallen away. 

This is not from Egypt but rather from graffiti artist El Seed in Tunis.

Gorgeous color, composition and a complimentary placement make this an incredible offering.

This is another similar look.  It says, "Ya Rab!"

The next example from El Seed is really different.

What I love as much as the artwork is the outdoor sink below it.  This means that his brilliant calligraphy is accessible to everyone.  It's not in a gallery or in a private home.  It's not in a closed tome of creativity.  It's OUT in the OPEN for ALL.

 Many people first get to know the real Islam from feeling the power of Islamic art.

Alhumdulillah for the beauty of Islam, Arabic and the ability to share it here.


Anonymous said...

I love street art! I especially liked the Tunis artwork. There is a lovely piece of sanctioned artwork by a grafitti artist in a subway tunnel in Brooklyn that made me happy when I saw it. It is backlit, so when the subway train rushes past it, the artwork becomes animation.

Montreal has amazing grafitti artwork that is a city sponsored project. All my photos of Montreal were taken on a phone camera and most of them were of the amazing grafitti. What a wonder a phone camera is, so immediate and they all have very good image quality!

I know that conservative elements in Islam frown on image making other than calligraphy and inanimate images. However, do average students, in an average school (not madrassas)... a tax money funded public school or even an islamic school... in a regular area (a suburb of a city for example) get an art education? How about a music education? Are there celebrated artists with a following? Is there a city/region/village that is well known for it's comtemporary art or its art heritage (not monuments,,, but art that touches everyday lives)? So many questions! Enquiring minds want to know!

Deanna Troi

Marie Harmony said...

Yosra, I love this art. It's beautiful and it's available for everyone to see.

I too hope Egypt will stay this united country, despite different cultures, identities and religions.

I pray God keeps you and your family safe.
Love from France

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Deanna,

Good to know that I'm not alone in taking graffiti pics with my phone's camera.

I'm intrigued by that Boston subway animation. I'll try to look for that on the 'net.

To answer your inquiry: in Islam, we are not supposed to make objects with a face as if we were re-creating because they becomes idols. I know this to be true for me. I used to idolize my grandmother's Hummels. For real! I used to stare at them for long periods of time and covet them. When she died, that was all I wanted. Now? I let them go.

There are so many different kinds of minds and schools here in Egypt. The only schools I can really earn money at are the international ones. At those schools, they certainly forget alllll about Islamic rulings when it comes to making art. Yes, there are art classes and music classes. Both are often taught by well-meaning but unschooled teachers from other subjects. In other words, the theory of WHY you make art (personal expression) and HOW you make art (in your own unique way) are forgotten. Most school art here is really craft work. Often, the teacher has done more cutting and pasting in order for it to be "perfect" for the parents. I was always aghast at the teacher-made projects sent home as my son's handiwork. I would ask him which parts he had done and it was minimal. I hate that. Let kids do their own art work!

As for music, the songs are usually pop songs with little regard for assigning choral parts and creating harmony. It's a little sad.

Thanks for asking!

Love and Light!

Asalamu Alaykom Marie,

I'm always glad when you write and I feel how much you will enjoy Misr the second time inshahallah.

Ya Rab for all your good wishes.

Love and Light!

egyptchick7 said...

YOSRA!! Don't confuse Brooklyn w Boston!! LOL! Lemme see if I can find a link...

There you go! The Q train is the train to my home in Brooklyn so I would see this daily! It first appeared when I was a child and then graffiti vandalized it and then it was miraculously cleaned up years a flip book...true fun...

I too like the Tunis artwork...