Manuscript Kufic Calligraphy with Joumana Medlej

29 February '24 at 6:00 pm - 3 March '24 at 5:00 pm

Time: 6:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Dates: 29 February '24 | 2 March '24 | 3 March '24

This is a complete introduction to Manuscript Kufic, the finest Qur’anic script of the Abbasid golden age, that fell out of use almost a millenium ago. Under Joumana Medlej’s guidance you will learn to use the pen and gallnut ink associated with this style. The course then covers the complete script grammar, starting with each letter individually before showing how to combine them. You’ll practice with short sentences before learning how to plan a full-page layout, complete with red vowel marks and golden punctuation. This intensive and immersive course culminates with the making of a finished page, leaving you fully equipped to create work in the historical tradition, or to explore a more contemporary direction. All materials are provided, and you can take your pen and ink home in the end.

Class dates

Thursday 29 February 6-8pm on Zoom: Introduction to the course
Saturday 2 March 10am-5pm at the Arab British Centre: Day 1 workshop
Sunday 3 March 10am-5pm at the Arab British Centre: Day 2 workshop

About Joumana Medlej

Joumana Medlej is an artist from Lebanon whose connection with early Arabic calligraphy was awakened by years spent working with master calligrapher Samir Sayegh in his Beirut studio. She specialises in the Kufi scripts, roughly corresponding to the Abbasid era, and in the materials of the time, having abandoned store-bought paints for the old ways of natural colour-making. She studies both scripts and art technology directly from primary sources, and is now drawing on her practitioner’s experience to translate medieval Arabic manuals and bring the voices of past masters to a general audience. 

Joumana works out of her Hackney studio and has pieces in private and public collections from California to the Middle East. She teaches Kufi calligraphy at the Arab British Centre and related workshops in various institutions. 

What school of Calligraphy does the course teach? Joumana teaches Creative Calligraphy. The course uses the Kufi script as a foundation, but encourages students to be creative with the traditional form and find their own approach to the art of Arabic calligraphy.

How many students will be in each class? There will be a maximum of 10 students.

Do I need to be able to read and write Arabic? No knowledge of Arabic is required

Do I need to be able to draw? No, the script is mostly constructed, not freehand, so drawing skills are not essential.

Can I book a place and pay later? No, your place on the course will only be confirmed on receipt of the course fee in full.

How can I sign up to a course? What methods of payment do you accept? Please book for courses on our website above or call the Arab British Centre to pay by card over the phone.

What is your refund policy? Our courses rely on meeting minimum numbers to run, and are often over-subscribed, so the sooner you let us know you’ve changed your mind the better. We can then open your place up to someone else. Our rules on refunds are:

  • 100% refund if you let us know up to 2 weeks before the start date of the course
  • 50% refund if you let us know 8-13 days before the start date of the course
  • no refund if you let us know 1 week or less before the start of the course

What happens if you cancel the course? We will endeavour to ensure courses are not cancelled but if this does happen we will contact you as quickly as we can to let you know and to arrange a full refund.

Please contact us if you have any further questions on 020 78321310 or


Online and Arab British Centre

1 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE


The Arab British Centre

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