Nastaliq calligraphy by Asghar Alkaei Behjat

Gholam edited

Nastaliq is a style that is used all over Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was developed in the 8th and 9th centuries in Iran; according to legend a master calligrapher dreamt of flying geese, and when he woke decided to develop a style that imitated that flying, fluid vision.

The name nastaliq is a fusion of naskh (the small, neat, regular style used by copyists for writing out whole books or other long texts) and ta’liq, the ‘hanging’ style that is still used for more decorative purposes alongside other scripts.

This piece is a verse by Hafez, the great Persian mystic poet, beloved by Iranians above any other poet. It reads: ‘I am the slave of the slave of the one who has no attachments in this violet wheel’. The ‘violet wheel’ refers to the Milky Way, that purple swirl in space we call home!

Asghar will be leading the nastaliq calligraphy workshops on the April retreat.

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