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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Arabic Lesson And Book Arts

Books Books, oh how I love books!

But before we get to the books portion, I wanted to share a story about how I accidentally ended up getting a free private Arabic lesson.

As you may or may not know one of the languages I'm studying is predominantly spoken in Pakistan and many, though not nearly as I had previously stereotyped, Pakistani people are Muslim.

So in attempt to find an Urdu speaker, I went to the Mosque looking for someone to ask. I didn't find an Urdu speaker but rather was invited to join a mother and a son taking a private Arabic lesson from the Imam (or Sheikh or 'Alim).

I could follow only a little from my basic Urdu but that's another story

While I was there I took a tour of the Mosque and was able to look through some of the books. I'm not sure if they were Qur'ans or not, since 90% of the Qur'ans I've seen in the past I have not been allowed to touch and I touched these.

Either way, they were beautifully illustrated. The calligraphy and design work was stunning...sooo beautiful! This beauty is a major reason I am learning Hindi and Urdu.

Ok, now back to books!

It's been a while since I've looked through a Koran. I used to love going to the University of Wyoming Rare Books Library and looking at all their beautiful books. Illuminated manuscripts, moralized bible, Gutenberg Bible, cuneiform scrolls, and rare Egyptian books. The list of my favorites goes on and on.

There is nothing better than a beautiful book. Which leads me to what I really wanted to share. My love for books, book arts and illustrated books. But in addition to other people's books I really enjoy the challenge of making my own.

I was accepted into and able to attended my first meeting with the Book Arts Club here in the Tri-Cities. It is a fun group of artists. They are encouraging and critical, which quite honestly is refreshing. I have found open critique a bit rare outside of the university. I am excited to continue creating books, stories, paper art and other works that fit this challenging genre.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the genera book arts I will write a blog post with the goal of explaining a bit more. I will also share some of my pieces inspired by Islamic culture and architecture.

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My blog and website have moved. Be sure to check out www.Feliciafollum.com