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Video: House or museum? This Sharjah residence surprises residents with its calligraphy design – News

KT Photos: Muhammad Sajjad

Published: Saturday February 10, 2024, 2:15 p.m.

Last update: Saturday February 10, 2024, 7:45 p.m.

As you walk along the street near the Sharjah University Hospital, you will see this building that stands out for its impressive design, with impressive calligraphy on its facade. This special building catches people’s attention and makes them stop and take a closer look, wondering if it is a house or a museum.

The ‘Diwani’ building is the first of its kind globally and is designed to showcase the relationship between architectural art and calligraphy. Every detail of the construction was carefully considered, connecting the building and the calligraphy.

The front façade of the ‘Diwani’ building is highlighted with a square Kufic script featuring a Quranic verse that reads: “And say: ‘My Lord, let me land on a blessed landing place, and You are the best to accommodate me.’ [us].’

The writing, skillfully written by the famous Jordanian calligrapher Zuhair Afaneh, is engraved on 80 pieces of solid stone, each 10 cm thick, brought individually from abroad. These pieces were meticulously assembled in Sharjah, forming a display three meters high and 25 meters long.

Traditional Islamic architecture

The building also represents the ‘Mashrabiya’ in ancient Islamic architecture, both in its use and form.

‘Mashrabiya’ refers to a traditional element of Islamic architecture. It is a kind of viewpoint with carved wooden lattices. It helps provide privacy while allowing airflow and sunlight to pass through.

Inside the building, a remarkable collection of more than 200 works of art by more than 85 calligraphers and artists from various eras showcases the richness of Arabic calligraphy with modern art.

Outside, there is a sculptural rock, which is a copy of the original stone sculpture found in the Al Faw village in Saudi Arabia. The inscription on the original stone (made of limestone from the late 1st century) warns those who may damage a family tomb and is written in an ancient southern Arabian font.

Upon entering the villa, the first thing you will notice will be this special 5 meter high piece. This notable piece represents the cover of the Kaaba before the current black one. Previously, this was made in Egypt in a family factory. It took the artisan’s grandson about six months to create this piece, from choosing the design to completion.

The living room features colorful calligraphy mosaics on the wall. This took about six months, from design and manufacturing to installing the pieces on the wall.



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