The Art of Islamic Calligraphy

On Sunday, June 14, at 12 PM EDT, we are inviting a special VAWAA guest artist Deniz Oktem-Bektaş, an internationally recognized and classically trained Arabic calligraphy artist based in Istanbul, the world center for Islamic arts. 

Deniz originally trained in riq’a and naskh scripts with American master of Arabic calligraphy Mohamed Zakariya. In 2002, she returned to Turkey and continued learning riq’a, naskh, and thuluth scripts from Turkish masters, Hasan Çelebi and Davut Bektaş. She holds a ijaza (the license authorizing her to teach) in the naskh and thuluth scripts and has received several international recognitions. Deniz has participated in exhibitions in Turkey and internationally, and continues her work alongside her husband, Davut Bektaş, in their studio in Istanbul.

During this rare 90-minute session, we'll learn about the fascinating history and development of the art of Arabic calligraphy. Deniz will start with a small tour of her studio, introduce materials, and demonstrate her techniques for Arabic calligraphy. You can choose to watch or if you have materials listed below, you can learn and get feedback on the tiny details of Arabic letters. 

Joining us from a different time zone? Be sure to convert the time.

What you'll need

Paper, soft leather or something similar (a magazine or a few pieces of paper) to place under the writing, black or colored ink and a pen (reed, bambo, java or metal) with a slanted cut.

How to join

We'll be hosting this VAWAA Online on Zoom. You'll receive an email with link and details to join a few hours before it begins.

Sessions are ticketed to support artists, makers and our small team. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, please reach out. We may have a generous participant who has paid it forward and would ask that you pay the love forward by sharing online sessions with 3 new friends.