Many of the world's great civilisations have produced intricate and sophisticated styles of calligraphy. Islamic civilisation has proven no different in this regard and possesses a long tradition with several differently articulated styles. Gifts related to Arabic calligraphy are equally diverse. They range from the decorative to the functional. No matter what your recipient's interest in Islamic art and writing, there is likely to be a calligraphy gift that will fit the bill.
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Arabic is the spiritual language of Islam, and as such, many beautiful and important verses from the Koran have been displayed in calligraphy. This kind of calligraphy makes a great gift idea for Muslim family members or friends and can be used almost anywhere, from the home to the workplace. In addition to verses, sayings of the Prophet or other popular Muslim phrases are often written in calligraphy on cards suitable for framing, or mounted on plaques.
Due to the enduring visual appeal of the Arabic language, its calligraphy is not of interest to Muslims alone. People from all walks of life can appreciate and even cherish Arabic calligraphy gifts of a more general nature. Some calligraphers will transliterate the name of the person in mind into Arabic lettering or calligraphy. You can then have that name emblazoned on a T-shirt, wall art, or even a coffee mug. Non-personalised gifts -- particularly those using words like "peace," "prosperity," or "prayer" -- are also common, and are usually easier to find.
If the intended recipient of your gift is interested in doing the calligraphy him or herself, a traditional Arabic calligraphy set may be the perfect gift. Ideas include the paper and pens with which to can begin practicing letters. Many art supply stores will have specific pens designated for calligraphy. There are also reed pens or brushes, which are more authentic. Any paper with a slight gloss finish will do, so that the brush will easily slide across the surface.
For the beginner Arabic calligraphy artist, you might consider giving some written or visual resources to get started. A guide to the Arabic alphabet is a good place to start. Be sure to procure one that illustrates the order and direction of the strokes needed to make up each letter. A book specific to one of the many individual forms of Arabic calligraphy is also a good choice. These include but are not limited to Deewani, Kufi, Naskh, Riqa, Taliq, Thuluth and Sini styles.
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