A Pakistani calligrapher prevailed first position in the First International Arabic Calligraphy Competition organized in Makkah.
Mohammed Asghar Ali was awarded the prize in the final round of the competition by the Makkah Municipality on Saturday. Minister of Culture and Information Abdul Aziz Khoja was the chief guest of the ceremony which was also attended by several prominent figures, including Makkah Mayor Osama Al-Bar, Ahmad Munshi, director general of safety and general services at the municipality, Pakistan’s Consul General Abdul Salik Khan and Deputy Consul General Imran Ahmad Siddiqui.
Renowned calligraphers from within the Kingdom and 36 Arab and Muslim countries participated in various rounds of the competition.
Khoja presented the award, consisting of a goldenrod and cash prize amounting to SR30,000, to Asghar Ali. The second and third prize winners — Yousuf Muhammad from Saudi Arabia, and Omar bin Ali from Tunisia — were awarded with a silver rod plus SR25,000 and a bronze rod plus SR20,000 respectively.
The competition was organized by the general department for safety and general services at the municipality.
Asghar Ali was invited to participate in the competition when he visited the Kingdom to participate in “Allama bil Qalam: Exhibition of Arabic Calligraphy from Pakistan.” The event which was organized by the Consulate General of Pakistan in Jeddah from Oct. 1-4, last year, was a great success. It provided 16 noted Pakistani calligraphers an opportunity to show their talents in the Kingdom.
Over 250 artists sent their pieces of art for the Makkah competition; out of which 20 were selected for the final round. The work of Asghar Ali along with four other Pakistani calligraphers namely Ajab Khan, Ashraf Heera, Hafiz Anjum Mehmood and Saeed Naz, were selected for the final round. Eighteen artists from other countries had also qualified for the final round.
In the final round, the judges selected 10 artworks. Two Pakistani calligraphers, Asghar Ali and Ashraf Heera, were chosen in this round.
Out of 10 artists, three best works were awarded prizes Saturday night.
Arabic calligraphy has a long and hallowed tradition in Pakistan where it is considered a primary constituent of country’s Islamic heritage.
Pakistan has produced several calligraphers of eminence including Khattat Al-Haram Annabvi Assharif, Ustad Shafiq Uzzaman who is the chief calligrapher of the Prophet’s Mosque, for the last 20 years. Makkah government officials congratulated the Pakistani mission’s officials on this occasion.
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