Andalusi Calligraphy: Surah Yasin

Surah Yasin, written in Andalusi and Maghrebi script by ‘Abd al-Lateef Whiteman.

Andalusi script is a style that was in general use in what is now Spain and Portugal throughout the Moorish period, and continued to be used in Morocco, especially by Muslim refugees from the Reconquista. A simplified variation of Maghrebi script, it is written using a reed pen with a rounded nib rather than an angled tip; since it does not have a discernible difference in the thickness of the line, there are no complicated rules for measuring the letter shapes, which makes it very easy for beginners.

As an everyday script that was used for copying out books (including the Qur’an), writing letters, receipts and so on, it has none of the exclusivity of the more formal, decorative styles, which gives it a beautiful accessibility; one could even call it democratic! With its quirky mix of exaggerated curves, squares, bold diagonals and swooping arcs, it is a fascinating graphic art form in its own right, let alone being a useful vehicle for the Arabic language.

‘Abd al-Lateef Whiteman will be leading the Andalusi calligraphy workshops as well as the qasida singing workshop, giving the opportunity to write and sing the same ecstatic poems.


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