Artists numbers shrink, but demand remains

Traditional calligraphers thrive in Al-Kut despite digital trends

AL-KUT, November 18 — Calligraphers in Al-Kut say that despite a decline in their numbers and the rise of digital graphic design and modern printing, they continue to receive more requests than expected. Handwritten script, they argue, provides a unique offering, especially in election campaigns and religious ceremonies.

Maki, a calligrapher in the city, expressed that while people might think this profession is fading away, he continues to work and earn a living from calligraphy. The advent of laser and electronic printers with their capabilities has not diminished the demand for the art, especially Arabic calligraphy, he said.

With numerous religious occasions and a substantial audience appreciating Arabic calligraphy, arists still receive special requests from customers. With Wasit not being a traditional tourist destination with regular foreign visitors, the profession has become limited to a few calligraphers in Al-Kut. However, this limitation doesn’t mean they are not busy; on the contrary, artists say they have more work than they can handle.

Many election candidates reportedly still prefer the expertise of calligraphers, as handcrafted signs convey a higher sense of emotion and offer greater freedom in shapes and lines compared to computer software limitations.