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A Calligrapher’s Journey from Iraq to Edmonton, War to Refugee


Najm Al Tameemi is a master calligrapher with more than 35 years of experience in the art of Arabic calligraphy. Najm studied the different scripts with a wide variety of teachers in his home country of Iraq, and began displaying his work in galleries through the country. He established a successful business for commissioned writing and artistic projects. When he left Iraq with his family in 2007, Najm began teaching at the refugee camps and offered private instruction as well. Najm and his family immigrated to Canada in September, 2015, and he immediately began volunteering at the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts. He has since been invited to exhibit his art throughout Edmonton. He is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with others.

Artist Talk with Najm Al Tameemi
Friday, September 8
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
FEE $5.00

Please join us in welcoming Najm Al Tameemi, an outstanding instructor of Arabic calligraphy, surely among the most beautiful scripts in the world. Najm came to Edmonton in 2015 as a refugee. With him he brought his wife and their seven children. Their journey has been a perilous passage through war to peace. Najm will tell his story about his life experience as a person who witnessed and rebuilt his life throughout 4 wars (Iran-Iraq, the Gulf War, the sectarian war, and civil war in Syria).

He will share his inspiring understanding of Arabic writing. For him, Arabic calligraphy is both a skill and a gift, not only a profession, which he has relied on during difficult times in his life. His experience of Arabic calligraphy spans more than 35 years, his knowledge of it is profound.

Register for this talk

In addition to this talk, we are honoured to offer a demonstration and a workshop.

Beautiful Arabic Calligraphy – In Store Demonstration
Instructor: Najm Al Tameemi
Saturday, September 9, 1-4PM

Calligraphers and non-calligraphers alike will benefit by considering the meaning and practicing the fluidity and forms of Arabic writing. Take in this introduction to letterforms, ink, and pens. Arabic calligraphy has many script styles, all of them elegant and expressive. Each Arabic script has its own purpose. Try your hand at making a letter or two!

$5.00 Saves you a seat at the demonstration table.

Calligraphy: Arabic Scripts – Art Class
Instructor: Najm Al Tameemi
Wednesdays, October 4, 11, 18, & 25
FEE $155

Welcome to the exquisite world of Arabic calligraphy! As we journey forth together in this course you will discover the beauty, precision, and sophistication of this elegant art form, gain insight into its historical and cultural importance, and develop your skills as you explore the 7 different script styles. Please join this master calligrapher 35 years of experience.

Register Now