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[Interview] Young Talented Calligraphist Samiur Rahman on what makes House of Calligraphy the most unique in the industry

Samiur Rahman from House of Calligraphy
Samiur Rahman from House of Calligraphy

Young, talented, with a mission to modernize and popularize traditional Arabic calligraphy, Samiur Rahman is no ordinary calligraphist. Creating an ever-growing collection of stunning calligraphy canvases and designs that combines a modern fusion twist with authentic traditions, he is the co-founder of the unique: House of Calligraphy.

What started out as a mere hobby for Samiur, has developed overtime into something much bigger- with plans to launch what could be the biggest release in the calligraphy art industry!

Along with partner and close friend Ismail Hussayn, House of Calligraphy have produced work for the likes of Arabic Nasheed Artist Maher Zain, comedian Omar Regan, and boxer Amir Khan.

From live calligraphy sessions to designing brand new fusion pieces, House of Calligraphy is currently touring the UK on a mission to inspire the youth and revive the beautiful art of calligraphy.

Continue reading as co-founder Samiur Rahman reveals exclusive insights into the interesting work of House of Calligraphy, thoughts on the current UK tour #RoadToInspire2014, and what makes this work perhaps the most unique in the industry!

How was House of Calligraphy founded? What has your journey been like to date?

House of Calligraphy was founded in September 2011 and officially launched in November that year. Prior to that, Calligraphy was just a hobby that I enjoyed to do in my free time and Alhamdulillah with a lot of motivation and support from family and friends, me and co founder Ismail managed to set a base and start up HOC.

It has truly been an amazing journey to date with so many new experiences and opportunities working alongside inspiring groups and individuals. There have been many obstacles we have faced along the way but what we have realised through this is many a time a setback can be a blessing in disguise so Alhamdulillah.”

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[Interview] Alexis Y. Lumbard on what inspired her to write children stories with Islamic themes

Children's Author: Alexis York Lumbard
Children’s Author: Alexis York Lumbard

There was a book Alexis wanted to read to her children, but it did not yet exist. Inspired by her experiences of motherhood and the gap in the market, Alexis Lumbard picked up her pen (or laptop) and began to write!

She has created an interesting range of spiritual and beautiful Islamic books for children including: The Conference of the Birds (Sept. 2012), Angels (Oct. 2013), and a digital app: The Story of Muhammad, based on the life and of Prophet Muhammad.

I talk to Alexis about the principles of good storytelling, how she overcomes challenges with her projects, and how we can tackle misconceptions surounding the Prophet Muhammad.

What inspired you to become a Children’s book author?

“When we were expecting our 2nd daughter and our eldest was ready for storybooks, I couldn’t find any that were Islamic-themed and well done.  So I picked up my pen (or laptop) and began to write.  It was a messy beginning and my first stories were terrible, but a few thoughtful individuals held my hand along the way.”

What are the principles of good storytelling and what advice would you give to aspiring writers?

“Please do not write for children because you think it is easy.  It is not easy and it should not be. Children’s literature has all the same meat as good books for adults—i.e. a tempting beginning, a middle that builds and an end that satisfies. And I’d have to agree with Jane Yolen, children’s books need not rhyme but they must be lyrical.

As far as basic principles go: 1) Less is more. 2) Do not talk down to children when writing. 3) Talk up—children need books that elevate, more now then ever before.  I created a little list on www.childforallseasons.com, perhaps some of your viewers will find it helpful.”

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