Mamdouh Al-Sharif ممدوح الشريف

Mamdouh Al-Sharif, Damascus, Syria, 1885 – 1934.

An Arabic calligraphy artist from Syria, a pioneer in many calligraphic forms, and a revival of the Kufi scripts in the Levant. He practiced and taught calligraphy in his studio in Damascus, and produced significant artworks in Syria and the Arab world.

Today, I’m sharing with you a selected works of Mamdouh Al-Sharif in the Kufi scripts which I believe he exceeded at and added a new Arabian touch to the art of calligraphy whilst the Ottomans were controlling and limiting the Arab people’s life and even their Art back then!

The sources of these works are from my archive and from the internet.

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ومن جرّب المجرب حلت به الندامة، من صدق غنم
Mamdouh has experimented in many styles, I’m starting with this minimal one,  he played with the Square Kufi blocks to create an avant-garde piece. 

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الثقافة
A masthead/logo for a cultural magazine that was published in Damascus. We see the courage usage of Kufi as a typographic line. 

Continue reading →

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Theeb film, Arabic calligraphy in the OSCARS

At one evening in October 2013, I sat down with the Jordanian director Naji Abu Nowar to discuss the collaboration between me and him to design the Arabic main title and credits for his new feature film Theeb, I was more than excited to take the job, it was a great honor for me to work with such a brilliant director like Naji, for a great shining opportunity in the Arab film industry.

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My initial quick sketches with Naji, discussing styles and calligraphy approach.

We agreed to adapt the Nastaliq calligraphic style, that relates to the Ottoman official signage system that was popular in our region in 1916, where the film’s events are happening in. Continue reading →

Islamic Seals Design

I was impressed with this amazing collection of Islamic seals on different manuscripts from various Islamic cultures and ages, this database was collected by Chester Beatty Library in Dublin from their own fine archive of manuscripts, more than 2600 seal impressions were found and documented!

Yes, 2600!

I’ve picked some of them to share with you, copy rights are reserved to Chester Beatty Library:

 

My next little project is to make one seal for my name inspired by these designs.. stay tuned!