dimanche 31 octobre 2010

Cochini Jewish Influences in Cochin INDIA






Yet another gift from Cochin

I had the good luck to make friends with a young Cochini, Thoufeek. He is very talented in Calligraphy and we are fortunate that he is interested in things Jewish. The Jewish Community of Cochin, the original inhabitants are decreasing in number, but with the presence of a Foreign Contingent of Jewish people, the Synagogue wont go to waste, and for many years to come there would be sounds of Hebrew prayers heard inside.

So when Thoufeek contacted me and I knew about his attempt to do Kufic Script in Hebrew, I was more than pleased. Calligraphy enters the life anyone who spends more than their share of time in art galleries or museums, since it appears in one form or another in the art of great empires of yesteryears.. Moghul, Persian , Ottoman just to mention the Moslem ones, not to mention the striving Calligraphy in the Chinese and Japanese circles…

What is a Kufic Script?

There is no doubt about the existence of this form of writing long before the advent of Islam, from the time of the cities of the like of Petra of the First Century of the Common Era. Kufic is named after the style which was perfected in the Iraqi city of Kufa and it is reputed that the first Quran was written in the Kufic Script. As can be seen in the above examples there are many variations of this script some of which may be familiar to the visitors to the Museum of Islamic Civilizations in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia where there are exhibiting Jewels of Shah Jahan with calligraphic “decorations”.ec


A few months ago I had a chance to read this on Thoufeek Zakariya’s blog, a bold attempt to write Hebrew Characters in the Kufic Script.

Hebrew alphabets in Arabic kufic style, a new attempt.

Recently I had received a requisition letter for Calligraphic job; it was from Odessa, Ukraine. Mr.L(not mentioning the name due to his request) is a Jew who admires Islamic Art and Architecture he had designed his house in Moroccan (Magribi) Style. His need was to design Birkat Ha Bayit in Hebrew but the twist; it must resemble Arabic Kufic style writing. As a calligrapher it is a challenging job to create a new style of Font within a short period of time, but I am a sort of person who likes these type of Challenging works.

To My knowledge no one had created such a font a liaison of Hebrew and Arabic. Some alphabets resembles to some extend but not the corresponding or respective alphabets.But some like ש,س resembles the same, but the ultimate aim, to create a Hebrew font in Arabic specifically Floral Kufic style made me to get acquainted with the job for a long hours. Hope i can meet the need of Mr.L and make him happy.

I will soon upload the picture of the work as soon as possible.
I can even do any such challenging Calligraphic work. Contact : thoufeekzak@gmail.com

This was taken from his blog

http://thoufeekzak.blogspot.com

I am happy that once again, the history of the Jewish People of Cochin would become remembered in stylish calligraphic depictions of Thoufeek..

I hope to meet him personally on my next visit to Cochin in February 2011.

Thank you Thoufeek Toda Raba