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Rageh Omaar explores the art of Islamic calligraphy. Since figurative art in a religious setting is prohibited in Islam, artists use geometric, floral and arabesque patterns to illuminate the pages of the Koran.

The most important Islamic art technique is calligraphy, which allows the artist the opportunity to experiment with the shape and design of the Arabic lettering. As Islam spread, the art of calligraphy developed, reaching its peak under the Ottoman Empire. Rageh travels to Istanbul to view the calligraphy adorning the walls of the Blue Mosque.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
15 March 2012

Classroom Ideas

This clip could be used to introduce a project on art from different cultures. Students could study the history, beliefs and culture that surrounds Islamic art. The class could try to replicate some of the calligraphic designs demonstrated in the clip.

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