Manuscript Kufic Calligraphy

23 January '20 at 6:00 pm - 26 January '20 at 6:00 pm

Praise for Joumana Medlej’s Calligraphy Courses at the Arab British Centre:

‘Exceeded my expectations’

‘Wonderful experience’

‘Really enjoyed the course, great to learn from Joumana, a brilliant teacher’


Dates: 23 January '20 | 25 January '20 | 26 January '20

The script we will be learning is Manuscript Kufic, the original Qur’anic script which developed under the Umeyyads and reached its apogee under the Abbasids, but fell into disuse nearly a thousand years ago. Now for the first time, it is being taught again. The style and script grammar will be specifically based on the variant seen in MS Arabe 350, one of the most beautiful known examples of Manuscript Kufic. This is an intensive and immersive course that will culminate with the making of a finished page in the ancient style. All materials are provided, and you can take your pen and ink with you in the end.

Thursday, 18:00-20:00

  • Historical overview;
  • How to rule a page;
  • Getting used to the pen.

Saturday and Sunday, 10:00-18:00 (with lunch break):

  • Learning and practicing isolated lettershapes;
  • Learning how letters connect and practicing with words and short texts;
  • Constructing the page;
  • Drafting a composition;
  • Putting it all together in one finished page, including diacritics and punctuation.


About Joumana Medlej

Joumana Medlej was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. After an early career in graphic design and illustration, her life took an unexpected turn when master calligrapher Samir Sayegh invited her to be his assistant. Through years of close collaboration, she learned the essence of Kufic, the origin of all Arabic calligraphy. She developed her own visual language out of this lesser-known style, and made its study and practice her life’s work, with a special focus on its sacred dimension.

Joumana moved to London in 2013 to dedicate herself to her art practice. Her work is found in private and public collections in the Middle East and in the West. She teaches Kufic calligraphy at the Arab British Centre and in her studio.

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 in each class.

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.

Are materials provided? All materials for the course are provided up to the final project, for which students will have the option of bringing their own, particularly if they wish to work in a medium other than paper (mosaic, canvas, ceramic…).

When do the courses run? We run courses three times a year, January – March, April – June and September – November.

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 class? You can sign up online going to our homepage ‘COURSES’. You can find information on our current Calligraphy course and book online here

What methods of payment do you accept? Online Payment. You can book your course online going to our homepage ‘COURSES’.  Payment is required to confirm your place on the course.

What is your refund policy? Our courses 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:

  • 75%  of the course fee will be refunded if you let us know more than 30 days before the course start date.
  • 50% of the course fee will be refunded if you let us know within 10 – 30 days before the course start date.
  • No refund will be given if you let us know fewer than 10 days before the course start date.

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


The Arab British Centre

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