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Seas of Ink: Inspiring story of EC man returning to SA as Ustad in calligraphy

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An international Arabic calligraphy event taking place from 2 to 7 December at the JEQ main campus in Schaapkraal has been widely celebrated by many art lovers and calligraphy fanatics in Cape Town. In addition to this already exciting and inspiring event is a wonderful story of a South African man whose calligraphy has taken him on a beautiful journey.

Ustad Muhammad Hobe was born in a small village in the Eastern Cape and after some years became Muslim and started his Islamic studies. During his Hifth studies, his teacher identified potential in his writing and unknowingly kickstarted Ustad Hobe’s career as a calligrapher.

Humble and soft-spoken, Ustad Hobe expressed his love for calligraphy and teaching by simply saying that “In calligraphy, it’s the same as the Quran –  when you teach others, you get more knowledge and experience. Some students ask questions and from their mistakes, you learn new things.”

Ustad Hobe has dedicated a significant portion of his life to calligraphy and says it has a very satisfying and calming effect. He dreams of eventually being able to write handwrite the Quran and is also looking to open an institute or cultural centre to spread different teachings here in South Africa – in addition to calligraphy, of course.

Reassuring those discouraged from practicing calligraphy by what they might regard as their ugly handwriting, Ustad Hobe said that although his handwriting is “terrible,” when he takes the bamboo for calligraphy, the entire game changes.

There will be a four-hour workshop at the Jam ‘Eyyatul Qurra campus on Friday, attended and hosted by Ustad Muhammad Hobe.

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