Issue No.
172, August 2012 Latest update 9 2014f August 2014, at 4.39 am
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Do not envy the old for living many years For death is the ultimate end. Better know if you wish the old longer years, It is a curse that you send.
Train you heart to observe.
Humbleness is as thin as the reflection of the moon on the surface of waters.
Perfection is a blessing.
Patience is the key to success.
Trust God.
Do not think that either youth or beauty last forever. Make the best of your prime for it is now or never.
Many were the days that made me cry in the past, Yet later on I cried for them having passed so fast.
You know, sometimes my ears are alerted by a sweet sound. Ears often beat the eyes in tracing beauty.

Arts Calligrapher Talal Siam
By Nabil Darwish
“Through wording letters, the various colours and tones that have passed through my brush strokes, and a two-decade period of questions, realisations, and thoughts on the artistic life, I have now come to somewhat understand an edge of the overall view of our beautiful Arabic language, which has historically created unique typographic synonyms of values and principles (which, in this current age are often ignored). Through my canvas creations, I am now speaking through my art.”

These are the words spoken during an evening coffee with the 1948-born Jerusalemite calligrapher, Talal Siam. These are the words that summarised his thoughts during this passing week in Palestine’s life.

His philosophy is expressed through the traditionally used colours that fill the lines of his brush strokes or even pen strokes, and is derived from his hunger to preserve the true identity and nature of our Arabic typography and language. His goal is not just to strengthen the understanding of calligraphy in our time, but also to open the eyes of his viewers to the brushed calligraphic words of monumental historical philosophers and poets, or even punctuated words from the holy Qur’an, which he strongly argues has been mistakenly placed aside in our current time.

When asked what Arabic calligraphy is for him, he answered with the simplest smile, not because it is a typical question he must have been repetitively asked about, but more from the true nature of what it is for him. “It is the essence of my artistic soul. Its natural curves and ease flow from the passion within me, from its modernism and contemporary feel, to its old creative forms, which I have extensively studied over the years.” He notes that the language is adaptable to the sprit of the artist and art form, and the exact reflection is the artist’s soul.

During his years studying architecture in the United States, and even before, Talal explains that the “care” from his Jerusalem home and from his surroundings never left him, even strengthened him at many times. Though when he returned, he was struck by the change in that same “care” factor he knew before, and its growing scarcity over the years. This, he explains, is what drove him to make his canvas creations, which have been presented in various galleries over the years. He notes that it was because of his resistance to such coldness that he screamed out through calligraphic words to grace light on those that need it.

His strength through calmness is what stunned me. Yet, at the same time, his brush strokes show his strong passion, which is what truly creates a unique sense of artistic presence in Palestine’s real heart, Jerusalem.

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